Bruna Garcia Fonseca
Dubai – The Arab Brazilian Chamber of Commerce launched this Tuesday (19) its first international office in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. The launching ceremony brought more than two hundred people together, including local and Brazilian authorities, as well as associates and businessmen who are in the Arab country to participate in Gulfood, the largest food fair in the Middle East.
The event occurred in Conrad Hotel. Fahim Bin Sultan Al Qasimi (picture above, center), member of Sharjah executive council, delivered a speech highlighting the mounting trade relation between Brazil and the UAE, despite a slowdown in global trade. “We have seen a double-digit growth in trade between Brazil and the UAE for the last six years, and in 2017 we reached USD 2.7 billion, that’s why I say obrigado, obrigado, obrigado [thank you, in Portuguese].”
Arab Brazilian Chamber Council chairman Walid Yazigi said in the occasion that the “Arab Brazilian Chamber is different from all other chambers of commerce in Brazil because its activity goes beyond commerce. In fact, it should be called Arab Brazilian Chamber of Friendship. Many separate friendships from commerce but the Arab tradition never does.”
Brazilian ambassador in the United Arab Emirates Fernando Igreja highlighted in his speech that the relation between Brazil and the UAE is one of love and tolerance. Brazilians have Arab blood, either by the Arab presence in Brazil or by the African or Portuguese side. “And the Arab Brazilian Chamber results from that, and befits the year of Tolerance, launched by national leaders of the seven emirates, and love and tolerance are closely related, he declared. Igreja has been in office for one year and eight months.
For the Arab Brazilian Chamber president Rubens Hannun, the first international office of the entity, besides offering support for Brazilian companies in the UAE and other Arab countries, will serve as a gateway for Arab companies that want to make business in Brazil. “We wanted to establish this connection, show the way for the Arab companies interested in doing business with Brazil to have this support. The office will be a constant in the Arab world,” he stressed.
“The launching of the first international office is a landmark in Arab Brazilian Chamber history and will serve to maintain old relations and strategic ties and make new ones. It is not only commerce, it is a relation of friendship and connection,” assessed Tamer Mansour, Arab Brazilian Chamber secretary-general.
The Arab Brazilian Chamber international office head Rafael Solimeo declared that the branch’s goal in Dubai is being a point of support not only for Brazilian companies wishing to sell to Arabs but also for Arabs that want to sell their products to Brazil. “We intend to translate and facilitate these relations, cutting short the time difference that separate both continents and assisting in the bureaucracy to import and export,” he said.
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The Arab Brazilian Chamber was founded in 1952 and is based in São Paulo. In May last year, the entity opened its first branch in Itajaí, Brazil. It is a port city and a big exporting center for the Middle East and North Africa. The office in Dubai will act not only in trade relations between Brazil and the UAE but also with other countries in the region. The Arab Brazilian Chamber started implementing this year a strategic plan focusing in 2028, which aims to make the Arab countries climb from the fifth to the third largest Brazilian trade partner.
Translated by Guilherme Miranda