(MENAFN - Qatar News Agency) Trade relations between Brazil and the Arab countries of the Middle East and North Africa grew 600% between 2003 and 2012, but it is still little, said the director of the Middle East Department at the Itamaraty, Carlos Ceglia, who participated, last week, in the Arab Ambassador Council delegation to Goi?s.
"It has grown much, but may grow at least three times more," said Ceglia. The delegation was promoted by the Council in partnership with the Arab Brazilian Chamber of Commerce. "Since 2003, trade exchanges between Brazil and the Arab countries has risen from US 4 billion to US 26 billion, growth of 600%. It is much, but we can multiply that, as there are opportunities. It is also necessary to stop eyeing just Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo and to learn about the rest of Brazil.
I love these two cities, but there is a significant country beyond them," he said. Ceglia pointed out that trade exchange and exports between Brazil and the Arab countries started growing after president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva placed the region among his foreign policy priorities starting in 2003. "He travelled to the Arab countries, created the Summit of South American-Arab Countries (Aspa), which boosted trade," he added. Ceglia also stated that there is a shortage of information and knowledge between Arabs and Brazilians. He also pointed out that the Arab export basket to Brazil is focussed mainly on oil and its products, while sales from Brazil to the region are mostly of commodities.
"Sales there may be increased with diversification of the export basket. But Brazilian businessmen today are concerned with supplying the growing demand of the population, after all, there are 35 million new consumers (who rose socially in recent years and increased the buying power in the country).
Notwithstanding, the Arab market offers opportunities, as it also includes a great buyer market with significant buying power," he said.