São Paulo – The Arab Brazilian Chamber of Commerce (ABCC) presented on Thursday (11) its activities calendar for this year, including online and in-person activities. The first-half schedule will be fully virtual, as a result of the pandemic. In the second half, with the prospect of vaccinations, the calendar includes in-person events.
The ABCC will go on hosting webinars designed to help Brazilians and Arabs do business. It will also host a series of business-to-business events and a hybrid congress, and it will join major events in Arab countries, such as Expo 2020 Dubai, slated to begin in October in the UAE.
During the online event regarding the calendar, ABCC president Rubens Hannun said virtual activities will continue despite the resumption of in-person events in the second half. He said that last year, the organization greatly enhanced its connections by virtual means, and that it would not like to squander what it has learned. “Once we can combine that to in-person work, it will be the best of both worlds,” said Hannun.
The ABCC’s webinars in 2020 were joined by 15,000 people in Brazil and elsewhere. The online edition of the Economic Forum Brazil & Arab Countries had some 10,000 viewers from around the world. Myriad other remote initiatives were carried out. “We have all come out victors,” Hannun said during the webinar, as he acknowledged all those involved in the ABCC’s work, as well as the organization’s partners.
This year, the ABCC hosted one webinar in January and one in February. February will also see its Dubai international office staff attend the Gulfood show in the UAE. The ABCC will have no booth this year, but its professionals will be in attendance to support Brazilian and Arab attendees alike. The nonstop Brazil-UAE flight from Emirates airline is suspended until the end of this month due to Covid-19.
Six online B2B sessions will be held this year, beginning in March, covering multiple industries, and targeting sales from Brazil to the Arab countries and the other way around. “We developed a proprietary platform and we split it into specific sectors, so we will portray a different sector at each point in time,” explained ABCC Commercial manager Daniella Leite.
March will also see a virtual congress in partnership with the Association of the Mediterranean Chambers of Commerce and Industry (ASCAME). ABCC Institutional Relations manager Fernanda Baltazar said that in addition to lectures, the event will feature activities to connect Brazilian and Mediterranean business owners.
Online and in-person
Also slated for this year are activities to link up the Arab and Latin American markets; participation in defense industry shows; a trade mission targeting fertilizer sales; a congress on halal; a bootcamp under the ABCC Lab startups program; and activities involving chambers of commerce.
Additionally, the schedule includes a mission of Arab ambassadors to Brazil; a mission to the UAE and Qatar; participation in an Arab-African investment forum; a matchmaking event for travel agencies; and a trade mission-cum-logistics seminar in Egypt next December. Veja calendário completo.
In addition to the scheduled activities targeting ABCC members, the organization customarily carries out multiple other actions throughout the year, including involving culture and immigration. Some of these actions are done via partnerships. The Chamber’s plans for 2021 include building tighter rapport with partners, such as industry-specific associations. “We know this will be another challenging year, but we are out here working to have a splendid 2021,” said Daniella Leite.
Fernanda Baltazar said the calendar was drafted based on the forum hosted in 2020, which gave rise to multiple partnerships and commitments, including the ABCC’s subscription to the United Nations Global Compact. “The idea is to based all our actions on this, which is really important,” she said. Scheduled actions will get rolled out by all of the ABCC’s units: its São Paulo headquarters, its Itajaí office, the international office in Dubai, and upcoming branches in Brasília, Saudi Arabia, and Egypt.
Sales to Arab countries
The calendar was presented during the webinar “Prospects for the Economy, Innovation and Technology in 2021,” which saw ABCC secretary-general Tamer Mansour disclose 2020 Brazilian-Arab trade numbers, which went down, mostly as a result of lower oil prices and the economic slowdown around the world and in the Arab countries.
Exports from Brazil to the Arab countries slid by 6.6%, while those from Arab countries to Brazil plummeted by 23%. Mansour remarked, however, that Brazil remained the premier agribusiness exporter to Arab countries, and that those countries were the third biggest destination of exports from Brazil. Food and beverage sales from Brazil to the Arab world were up 2.8% last year. “This goes to show that Arab countries remain loyal to Brazil, and that they are still buying from Brazil,” he said.
The webinar also featured lectures from Bahrain Economic Development Board chief economist Jarmo Kotilaine and from the Brazilian attorney Ronaldo Lemos, who specializes in technology. Pictured at the top of this page are Hannun (top L), Mansour (top R) Baltazar (bottom L) and Leite (bottom R).
The webinar is available on YouTube.
Here’s more on the webinar:
Translated by Gabriel Pomerancblum