Bruna Garcia Fonseca
São Paulo – The Arab Brazilian Chamber of Commerce launched this Thursday (1) a campaign to encourage Arab companies to become members. The goal of this unprecedented initiative is to get 35 enterprises in the Arab world to join by the end of this year.
“The core idea is to provide Arab companies with the skills, information and networking for them to be able to really understand the opportunities available in Brazil, thereby causing deals to increase,” Arab Chamber commercial manager Daniella Leite said.
According to Leite, although sales from Brazil to Arab countries are going strong, the opposite does not hold true. “We want to address the root cause, both here [in Brazil] and [in the Arab world]. Is it a lack of knowledge on their part, or is it that [players in Brazil] are unable to see the quality and potential of their products? We want to bring the links together and create a cycle. We have the Brazilian companies out here and we give them information. We seek them out and we work to dispel the myths surrounding the Arab world. We let them know about every opportunity, and now we want to do the same in the Arab countries,” she said.
The manager said she’s aware that Brazil competes with other markets when it comes to the Arab world, because many think the country is far away and bureaucratic. “But this is a way of working on both ends, thereby attaining our long-term goal, which is to get Arab countries to become Brazil’s third biggest trade partner. To increase trade and achieve growth on both sides,” she argued.
Having Arab companies as members, according to Leite, will create a stronger connection with Brazilians. “Because then we’ll all be on the same platform. If a client here [in Brazil] wants something from [an Arab country], we’ll possibly have contacts to refer who are already familiar with the Chamber, who are already members. The primary goal is to facilitate these flows,” she said.
In principle, any Arab company that could potentially buy to or sell from Brazil can become a member; priority will not be given to any particular industry. Leite explained the benefits members will get: “They will get the Arab Chamber label. It can be very relevant for them to have this label on their products.”
“They’ll also get Member Bulletins, with information on key industries for these Arab companies. They’ll also get up to four hours’ free time in our rooms, both in São Paulo and Dubai, subject to availability;
networking with Brazilian companies; support from the Chamber’s Government Relations Department with topical issues; events in Brazil and the Arab countries; interaction with Brazilian delegations travelling to Arab countries,” she said. Additional consulting services will be charged separately.
Brazilian members will get the advantage of a closer connection with Arab companies. Everyone will be together in a more integrated fashion, in the same platform. “You’ll get more interaction with the Arabs. The idea is to build a cycle, so we’ll start seeking out Arab members which already have connections with Brazilian companies and vice versa. And we will follow through with that, like a post-sale service, to build a real bond. I think this is a legacy for the Arab Chamber. It will help us grow,” said Leite.
Arab Chamber secretary-general Tamer Mansour said: “This is the beginning of a story the Arab Chamber is writing. It’s something that was discussed in-house for a long time, and now we’re putting our plans to work. We’re doing this with great pleasure and pride, to help Arab companies bring their deals to fruition in a more effective way. The Arab Chamber represents Brazil and the 22 Arab countries and their businesses, so it’s crucial for us to have these relations, because the Chamber does not live on government relations alone; it must also be part of the life of the Arab businessman.”
To find out more, get in touch with the Arab Chamber relationship staff.
Amr Ahmed El Ghorab
+55 11 3145-3293
Islam M. Shaheen
+55 11 3145-3267
Translated by Gabriel Pomerancblum