São Paulo – Leaders from the Arab Brazilian Chamber of Commerce had meetings this Tuesday (12) in Brasília in order to get closer with Brazilian government bodies and Arab diplomats. The Arab Brazilian Chamber of Commerce president Rubens Hannun and vice-president of international relations Osmar Chohfi were with the Brazilian Trade and Investment Promotion Agency (APEX-Brasil) president Mario Vilalva, the Department of Federal Revenue of Brazil special secretary Marcos Cintra, and Arab ambassadors.
The Arab Brazilian Chamber has a long-standing partnership with APEX-Brasil, and this was the first meeting with the agency’s new president, who took office in the second half of January. According to Hannun, APEX-Brasil and the Arab Brazilian Chamber reaffirmed its willingness to maintain this cooperation, develop missions and other joint actions in Arab countries. “We talked about how we could collaborate where the Arab Brazilian Chamber and APEX-Brasil actions are complementary,” Hannun told ANBA.
Hannun told Vilalva about the Arab Brazilian Chamber current projects, such as a study being developed on food security, the promotion of Arab investments in Brazil, and the launch of the international entity’s office in Dubai, UAE, in February 19. The Arab Brazilian Chamber branch in the Gulf country will assist even more in the rapprochement with APEX-Brasil, since the agency also keeps an office in Dubai.
Hannun and Chohfi also told Vilalva about the 1st Brazilian-Arab Countries Economic Forum that was held April last year, which was attended by roughly 800 people – 100 being from Arab countries. The forum featured the then Brazilian president Michel Temer. Vilalva has had contact with the Arab Brazilian Chamber work when he was director-general of the Ministry of Foreign Relations Department of Trade Promotion in the early 2000s. Majored in law, he is a career diplomat.
The Arab Brazilian Chamber representatives also met Marcos Cintra, who participated in the Brazil-Arab Countries Economic Forum (picture above) held in the entity in 2018, then as president of the Funding Authority for Studies and Projects (FINEP, acronym in Portuguese). Hannun and Chohfi thanked Cintra for participating in the forum, congratulated him for his new office in the Department of Federal Revenue and talked about topics of interest for the relations between Brazil and the Arab countries, such as the double taxation on investments and the attraction of Arab capital to Brazil. Cintra talked about the government’s willingness to attract Arab investments to Brazil.
The Arab Brazilian Chamber president and foreign relations vice-president also participated in the first meeting this year of the Council of Arab Ambassadors in Brazil, where they took stock of the Chamber actions in 2018 and presented the entity’s plans for 2019. The council dean is the Palestinian ambassador Ibrahim Alzeben, and the first group meeting of the year was the last of the Jordanian ambassador in Brazil, Malek Twal, who leaves office this week. Hannun and Chohfi also visited the Tunisian embassy, which was moved recently, and met with the ambassador Mohamed Hedi Soltani and the first-secretary Mohamed Amine Sayeb.
The Arab Brazilian Chamber president also gave an interview to TV Senado, where he talked about the impact on international politics by the new government’ on the Arab market, and gave details about trade with the Arab countries and traits of the Arab market.
Translated by Guilherme Miranda