São Paulo – Fueled by the Mercosur-Egypt trade agreement which became effective late last year, Egyptian businesspersons are keenly interested in importing a variety of goods from Brazil. In the second stop along the North Africa mission organized by the Arab Brazilian Chamber of Commerce, Brazilian executives sat down for meetings, made contacts and learned more about the Egyptian economy, which is on the rebound.
“It was a very interesting sharing of experiences,” Vitor da Silva, the financial manager with Soy Brasil, a maize and soy trading company out of Curitiba (PR), told ANBA over the phone. In addition to the meetings with Egyptian buyers, he mentioned a cocktail reception offered by the ambassador of Brazil to Cairo, Ruy Amaral: “Besides the Brazilian delegation, the event was joined by local executives and the Embassy personnel. It was great, because we were able to find out a bit more about how Egypt is behaving, economy- and trade-wise,” he explained.
Just like in the mission’s first destination – Amman, Jordan, – the Brazilian executives were welcomed at the local chamber of commerce for an opening event, in this case the Cairo Chamber of Commerce, which has partnered with the Arab Brazilian Chamber to organize the trip along with the Embassy of Brazil in Cairo. After a brief introduction, they sat down for meetings with executives from importing companies in their respective lines of business. The event was covered by the local press.
Silva discussed the list of local importers that the Cairo Chamber provided him with. “We made good contacts and have had a very positive schedule so far. The people were very welcoming,” he said.
Soy Brasil exports maize and soy both direct and via major multinational corporations. Silva said his goal in the trip is to better develop the Middle East market: “We are not very present here yet, and since Egypt is the second biggest importer of maize from Brazil, we are looking for prospective clients,” he said.
Karla Leite, the executive director with hair treatment products maker Flora Brazil, which already sells in Egypt, also said the mission is yielding positive results. She said she spoke with staff from distribution companies First Cosmetics and GEM. Talks with the latter are moving forward, all the more so because Flora Brazil’s products have been cleared by the local sanitary authority.
“Tomorrow [Tuesday, 17] I will meet with them again. Then I’m visiting a contact in Alexandria, and next month I’ll go to a trade show in Dubai,” explained Leite, whose time with the mission has ended.
According to Arab Chamber international business executive Fernanda Baltazar, the Brazilian executives were pleased with the outcomes of the meetings. “They have come to understand the market and what it’s like today. Egypt’s economy is booming. This is a major market, and the fact that the Mercosur-Egypt free-trade agreement has become effective comes as an encouragement to businesspersons from both regions who are looking to do business,” she explained.
Baltazar said a standout feature of the trip to Cairo was a meeting of cosmetics industry executives at the General Organization for Import and Export Control (GOEIC) to clear up doubts regarding the registration of companies and products in the country.
The Brazilian executives on the Arab Brazilian Chamber mission are now leading for Tunisia, where they will remain from April 18 to 20.
Translated by Gabriel Pomerancblum