Biscuit companies looking for a broader market in UAE

The Arab country will be the focus of the export promotion project of Brazilian manufacturers of biscuit, pasta, and industrialized bread and cakes.

Isaura Daniel

São Paulo – The United Arab Emirates will be the focus of the actions by the project to promote exports of cookies, pasta, and industrialized bread and cakes starting August this year. The project is carried out by the segment association ABIMAPI, and the Brazilian Trade and Investment Promotion Agency (APEX-Brasil), both working together to facilitate to companies of the area to enter the international market.

Other actions are already taken in the Middle East, such as the promotion of the segment industries participation in Gulfood (picture above), food fair that takes place in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. The next edition of the show, which will occur from February 17 to 21 this year, ABIMAPI and APEX-Brasil are taking eight companies associated in the project as exhibitors: Bauducco, Casaredo, Cory, Itamaraty, Marilan, M. Dias Branco, Selmi and Seu Ninico.

The program to foster exports is renewed every two years. In the current biennium, the Arab country where the actions are focused is Saudi Arabia. In the biennium to start in August lasting until 2021, the UAE will be among the focus countries, together with the United States, Portugal, China, Colombia, Nigeria and South Africa. The destinations are chosen based on market data from Apex-Brasil and the companies’ experience.

ABIMAPI international director Rodrigo Iglesias mentions as favorable factors for the UAE the fact it is a logistic and distribution pole, have one of the most Westernized business environments in the region, and is easy to travel to. “It is possible to reach every market in the region through the UAE,” says Iglesias. He tells that in 2016, one company from the sectorial project made deals with the country, in 2017 three did, and in 2018 five did.

The idea is that, putting the UAE as a focus, the relations will be strengthened. Some initiatives are planned for the country, such as business actions in Gulfood and Expo 2020, both to take place in the UAE next year. Expo 2020 is a world exhibition that lasts for six months, where Brazil will have a pavilion. In Gulfood this years, five importers will be taken, one from Lebanon and the others from Latin America. There will be business rounds and appointments with them to deepen the relation with the Brazilian companies.

Having Saudi Arabia as one of the destinations of the ABIMAPI-APEX-Brasil’s project since 2017, the integrating companies managed to increase their sales to the country. Two years ago, exports were USD 44,000 and, last year, they stood at USD 113,000. It was a 160% growth. According to Iglesias, the number refers to ABIPAMI associates that participated in the exports project, but also represents the total domestic sales.

For the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), the companies in the project exported USD 1 million in 2018 over 1.7 million in 2017. Rodrigo Iglesias says the drop was due to problems with North Africa, such as Libya stopping purchases and Algeria establishing barriers. This value represented roughly 90% of Brazilian total sales in this segment for the region. General exports by the manufactures in the project reached USD 89 million last year and the overall in the sector USD 110 million.

Translated by Guilherme Miranda

André Barros/ANBA

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