São Paulo – Argentine exporters can sell their goods to the Arab market through a virtual platform. The Permanent Exhibition Hall (PEH) platform was launched by the Argentine-Arab Chamber of Commerce (AACC) last September to help businesspeople keep dealing with Arab importers amid the pandemic.
AACC president Julio Husain Made told ANBA the institution works to foster the commerce between Argentine and the Arab countries and the relations between the two regions is based on trust, affection and personal connections. “If there’s no trust or affection, it’s extremely hard to break into that market,” said the president.
As the coronavirus pandemic started, the AACC’s activities, such as participations in trade shows and exhibitions, had to be halted, as did the face-to-face meetings with Arabs. “So we decided to offer a tool to build this rapport online,” explained Made.
Participation in the PEH is available for AACC members. Made explains the platform is focused on the partners, so that the institution can know who the companies are dealing with, if they are well-meaning. Arab companies can offer their products to the Argentine market on the permanent digital platform, too.
Although the initiative is focused on the Arab-Argentine trade, Made explains, nothing prevents companies from elsewhere to access the offers, such as Brazilians interested in acquiring products from the Arab countries. The exhibition of Arab goods is still small – most are from Argentina – but the AACC is working to make it grow.
The AACC is spreading the initiative to earn new members. Made mentions some of its partners, such as Argentina’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, International Trade and Worship and its branches, such as the trade promotion agency and the international trade secretariat, as well as the embassies. The president adds it’s also supported by the Union of Arab Chambers and its members.
In the first six months, the service’s been offered for free for Arab and Argentine exhibitors alike. Made says the hall will be available forever, that there’s no going back now. “We’re working in strengthening it. We’ll promote it across the Arab countries and take resolute steps in this direction. I believe it’ll be very successful,” says the president.
Argentina exports mostly foodstuffs to the Arab countries, but Made believes there’re market niches to be explored in sectors such as electrical installations, medical equipment and agricultural technology. According to the AACC’s president, exports from Argentina accounts for 0.5% to 1% of Arab imports, around USD5 billion a year. On the other hand, Arab exports to Argentina are very small.
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Translated by Guilherme Miranda