São Paulo – Arab Brazilian Chamber of Commerce president Rubens Hannun and CEO Tamer Mansour met last Saturday (22) in Cairo, Egypt with Investment and International Cooperation minister Sahar Nasr (pictured).
“It was a relevant meeting because Saturday is their day of rest, and it was the minister who called the meeting. I spoke first, thanking her for taking the time, and I recalled the meeting we’d had two years prior. On that occasion, she told us she was changing Egypt’s Investment Law to streamline and speed up processes. The Arab Brazilian Chamber translated the law and has been publicizing it since. I told her how we have done that during seminars in Brazil. I also discussed [Egypt’s agreement with the] Mercosur and the progress in Brazil-Egypt relations during these two-plus years,” Hannun told ANBA.
Besides the Arab Chamber executives, Brazilian executives currently in Cairo for the Brazil-Egypt Economic Forum also sat in the meeting. Hannun thanked the Egyptians for the numerous delegates who joined the Brazil-Arab Countries Economic Forum, in 2018, and invited the minister to attend the next edition in Brazil, slated for 2020. “I also handed her a letter inviting her to travel to Brazil in the second half of this year, for a specific event involving Egypt. She seemed to like the idea, and she is looking into it,” said Hannun.
Brazil’s ambassador to Egypt, Ruy Pacheco de Azevedo Amaral, also spoke during the meeting, which featured presentations on investment opportunities in Egypt, including one by Tamer Mansour. “We spoke in terms of starting to build win-win partnerships that begin in Brazil and culminate in Egypt, and the other way around. There was also a presentation about investing in the Suez Canal Economic Zone, which is very famous and could be presented to Brazilians and become a hub for Brazilian products, especially in food security,” said Mansour.
Executives from 22 Brazilian companies were at the meeting. Egyptian authorities in attendance included Suez Canal Authority chairman Mohab Mamish and General Authority for Investment & Free Zones (GAFI) executive vice president and Brazil-Egypt Business Council cochair Emad El Sewedy..
On the 22, the Arab Brazilian Chamber was honored in Cairo during a World Company Award (WOCA) dinner, a Global Council of Sales Marketing (GCSM) award. Arab Brazilian Chamber president Rubens Hannun received the award during the event, which was part of the Brazil-Egypt Economic Forum activities. “It was for our achievements on Brazil-Egypt relations. It was very meaningful. The award was in my name, but it’s actually for all the Chamber and its staff,” the president said.
WOCA also awarded other representatives from Brazilian and foreign organizations, including Eletrobrás president Wilson Ferreira Junior, Brazil’s ambassador to Egypt Ruy Pacheco de Azevedo Amaral, former Solidarity Fund of the State of São Paulo president Lu Alckmin, and Egypt’s minister of Investment and International Cooperation Sahar Nasr.
Mansour noted the encounter took place in a moment when the Mercosur-Egypt free trade agreement completes two years since it came into force and that bilateral deals sky-rocketed since then. Egypt’s exports to Brazil, for example, climbed 100% in volume and 80% in revenue year-to-date through May from a year ago, as per information from the Arab Brazilian Chamber.
The trip yielded good results for the Arab Brazilian Chamber. “It was landmark. First because it was a delegation of high-level businessmen. The Brazilian entrepreneurs were very interested in understanding Egypt and felt a deep respect for the stage where the country’s economy finds itself and are keen to continue this relation. For the Chamber, it was very nice because we will follow on this relation and encourage it even more. Not to mention the interviews we gave to the Egyptian television and newspapers, which show the role of the Chamber and how it works. It was very beneficial,” said Hannun.
Translated by Gabriel Pomerancblum & Guilherme Miranda