São Paulo – The Arab Brazilian Chamber of Commerce launches this Wednesday (14) the Arabic version of Brazil-Arab News Agency (ANBA) with a breakfast for guests in Brasília. Approaching its 16th birthday, the entity’s news website becomes Brazil’s first professional news outlet to publish content in Portuguese, English and Arabic. Especially for the launch, the agency is featuring interviews with vice president Hamilton Mourão, minister of Agriculture Tereza Cristina, and Union of Arab Chambers secretary-general Khaled Hanafy.
“The website has always meant to be a powerful source of information and to fill in a gap in the diffusion of news about business and cultural interchange between Brazilians and Arabs,” said Arab Brazilian Chamber president Rubens Hannun. “The Portuguese and English versions already catered to Brazil and part of the Arab world, but our goal was to make ANBA into an agency that also speaks Arabic.”
Hannun points out that the new version makes the outlet able to get much closer to its target audience, in line with the Chamber’s mission to connect Brazilians and Arabs, wherever they are, to foster economic, social and cultural development. “In the language of the people, the website brings us closer, breaks barriers and bridges that gap,” he pointed out. “It shows respect for their culture,” he stressed.
Brazil’s ambassador to Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, Fernando Igreja, agrees. “Although Brazil is a country with strong Arab presence in different domains, there are differences that only the use of the language may overcome. ANBA in Arabic will fill this role, presenting to the Arabs of the 21st century a Brazil in Arabic, with all its multicultural richness,” he pointed out.
Along the same lines, the dean of the Council of Arab Ambassadors to Brazil and Palestine’s ambassador, Ibrahim Alzeben, said that ANBA’s news will be able to spread to a market of 350 million consumers in their own language. “The timing is great, given the importance of the Arab market to Brazilian suppliers,” he said.
The dean stressed that a better exchange of information favors the increase of interchange in different areas, not only in business but also tourism, for example. “[It enables] a holistic vision of both Brazil and the Arab world,” he pointed out, “showing things in Brazil such as tourism, the Amazon, investment opportunities etc.,” he said.
The Arab League ambassador to Brazil, Qais Marouf Kheiro Shqair, congratulated and thanked the Arab Chamber’s initiative to have a news website in Arabic and pointed out that it’s one of the world’s most spoken languages, one of the United Nations languages, and that it carries history and culture.
The launch of ANBA in Arabic follows other initiatives the Chamber undertook this year within the scope of its new strategic plan, which aims to make the Arab countries go from the fifth to the third position among Brazil’s main trade partners by 2028.
In the first half of the year, the organization launched its first international office in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, and, on August 1st it launched an Arab corporate membership campaign, whose goal is to get 35 enterprises in the Arab world to join by the end of this year.
“Arab membership is another reason to have a website in this language, because the agency now speaks the language of the new members,” said Hannun. “People get more comfortable talking to each other, which fits in with our strategy of ‘Arabization,’ an ever-increasing integration with Arabs, and internationalization, strengthening our physical presence in the region and making our communication more targeted and accessible.”
In the Arabic version, readers will get exclusive content produced by ANBA’s team of journalists and material about the Brazilian reality. “We are meeting a demand that tends to expand business, as more Arab companies will be able to learn about opportunities in Brazil,” said Hannun.
He added that the new tool makes communication easier with Arab governments and business organizations, such as chambers of commerce and industry.
Alzeben believes the website will help the work of Arab diplomats in Brazil. “Not only [the work] of ambassadors, but of representatives from the general public and private sector too,” he pointed out. “For consumers and companies, it will open up a huge horizon of reciprocal business,” he stressed.
Likewise, ambassador Fernando Igreja said that ANBA in Arabic will help the work of Brazilian diplomats in the region. “An Arabic version of ANBA is certainly an important tool for the work of Brazil’s embassies throughout the Arab world, and it will reinforce Brazil’s presence in this region, with economic, commercial, political and cultural gains,” stressed Igreja. “ANBA in Arabic will certainly be a bridge to get Brazil and the Arab world closer and more integrated,” he concluded.
Translated by Guilherme Miranda