Bruna Garcia Fonseca
São Paulo – The plastic industry’s business mission to Dubai ended with positive results, in an assessment by Gilberto Agrello, International Market Access and Development expert of the Think Plastic Brasil program. The companies with the mission signed over USD 1 million in deals, with an estimate signaling over USD 3.5 million for the next 12 months, reported Chmcorpp’s consultant, Carlos Moreira, who’s in charge of export projects planning for the program’s plastic companies. The delegation visited, in Dubai, the construction trade show The Big 5 (picture above), which ended this Thursday (29).
The Think Plastic Brazil program aims to promote the Brazilian plastic industry abroad and was the result of a partnership between the National Plastic Institute (INP), the Brazilian Trade and Investment Promotion Agency (Apex-Brasil) and the National Petrochemical Chain. The trip to the United Arab Emirates had the support of the Arab Brazilian Chamber of Commerce.
“We made some sound contacts with distributors and business facilitators, plus local companies. The eight Brazilian companies that joined the mission identified opportunities in their own niches (construction and home appliances), it was as we were doing two jobs into one,” said Agrello.
The expert said that the companies from Brazil were able to do a preliminary identification of which plastic products could open more opportunities in the United Arab Emirates. “We visited the main office of Lulu Hypermarkets, a [Indian] supermarket chain that is a powerhouse in the Middle East, operating in many Gulf countries, and we talked to the senior buyers of Danube Home, a home appliance chain also operating in many countries in the region,” he said, adding that the access to high-level buyers and decision makers was an important nod to possible investments and future deals.
What impressed the most during the mission, according to Carlos Moreira, was the synergy between the companies. “There was a moment in which the companies proposed alliances to develop, together, some products in Brazil to meet the local demands,” he explained. The consultant also said that, due to the culture of the Arab people, most of the meetings were held with the whole group and, according to him, one company learned from another, since these companies have different levels of experience regarding exports. “But this model of joint meetings was only possible because there were no direct competitors in the group, otherwise these meetings wouldn’t meet the norms of the [National Plastic] Institute,” he said.
Moreira said that some companies received requests for samples and other now have “a long homework to bring home, to develop or adapt their products, as well as sending detailed and strategic information on their products.”
To Tony Brito, Business Director of Sansuy, a PVC tarpaulin and plastics manufacturer, the mission was a great learning experience. “We had the opportunity to visit companies that could use our products, develop a business relationship, and we are confident that there are many opportunities to be explored, to be able to sign these deals with very positive results,” he assessed.
The participation in The Big 5, according to Agrello, was positive. For 2019, the plastic companies wish to exhibit their products in the industry’s own stand, which hasn’t been confirmed yet but should be evaluated by the Think Plastic program and Apex-Brasil. The industry’s business owners also requested a new mission to other Middle East countries next year, and it should be included in the strategic planning after being approved.
According to Agrello, Brazil is a major producer of plastic resin, with a large output capacity and high technology, which gives it competitiveness to reach market niches in the UAE and in other Gulf countries. “China has the advantage in logistics for being closer, but we have our own petrochemical chain, and they don’t, which gives us an advantage in prices, plus the technological edge,” he assessed.
Translated by Sérgio Kakitani