Bruna Garcia Fonseca
São Paulo – Opportunities are available at the Khalifa Industrial Zone Abu Dhabi (KIZAD) for Brazilian companies looking to operate from the emirate. A webinar hosted this Tuesday (28) in partnership with the Arab Brazilian Chamber of Commerce (ABCC) saw KIZAD executives provide information and discuss existing advantages.
KIZAD’s CEO Samir Chaturvedi, Commercial vice president Edwin Lammers and Commercial director Khalid Al Marzooqi were featured. Speakers also included Abu Dhabi Investment Office (ADIO) director-general Tariq Bin Hendi and BRF Abu Dhabi executive manager Giovani Pelliza. ABCC secretary-general Tamer Mansour and ambassador and International Relations vice president Osmar Chohfi also joined the conversation.
Lammers noted that Brazil’s president Jair Bolsonaro’s visit to the UAE last year helped enhance UAE-Brazil ties even further. “Last year, we saw USD 3 billion in trade between our nations. Many opportunities are in place at the industrial zone, and the government offers many advantages to investors,” Al Mazooqi said.
Chaturvedi pointed out that over 10,000 Brazilians are living in Abu Dhabi right now. He discussed the Covid-19 situation: “Amid the ongoing crisis, we at KIZAD are focusing on supporting businesses and our clients. We want to make sure that all workers and the community are safe, and that the supply chain is open for business,” said the CEO.
It was mentioned that Abu Dhabi is a safe city to live and do business in, with 100% ownership available to expatriates at free zones. The emirate boasts a solid economy and a hub-type infrastructure spanning the Middle East, Africa and Asia.
Marzooqi visited the offices of the ABCC in São Paulo last year to present business opportunities to Brazilian executives. The ABCC and KIZAD reached a memorandum of understanding. The meeting was brought up by ambassador Chohfi, who also went over Brazil-UAE economic and trade relations.
“Even amid this Covid-19 situation, exports from Brazil to the UAE hit close to USD 900 million through June 2020. This highly relevant trade greatly benefits from a very advantageous set of political and institutional relations, as was demonstrated by the visit made by president Jair Bolsonaro to the UAE in late October 2019,” he argued. Chohfi noted that eight international cooperation agreements were entered into on that occasion, covering industries including agriculture, transportation, infrastructure, and tourism.
Marzooqi remarked that all businesses are welcome at KIZAD. He went on to say that key industries there include polymers, metals, food, automobiles, logistics, oil and gas, energy, and pharmaceuticals.
The biggest Brazilian product at KIZAD right now is foodstuffs – specifically processed poultry items. BRF opened a unit at the industrial zone in 2014. According to Pelliza, it only took 14 months for the company to become established in Abu Dhabi. It sources frozen chicken from Brazil via the Abu Dhabi port, which it processes into value-added products such as nuggets, hamburgers and sausage. The items sell in the UAE as well as in countries including Saudi Arabia, Oman, Kuwait, and Pakistan.
Tamer Mansour discussed the services on offer from the ABCC and the work being done amid the pandemic, with a new work approach in place and new opportunities available. “We have hosted 15 webinars and joined 20 online events as guests. We are also putting out a daily bulletin with updates on Covid-19 in Brazil and the Arab countries. The good thing about this situation is that we have found a way to grow closer to one another in a virtual way,” he said.
Hendi went over the Abu Dhabi government’s approach to Covid-19. Last March, the Abu Dhabi administration was quick to respond to the economic challenges posed by the pandemic. A stimulus package was put in place comprising 16 initiatives to support businesses and individuals in Abu Dhabi and to ensure continuing economic growth. Additionally, 17 financial initiatives have cut costs and improved access to financing for individuals as well as small and medium businesses.
KIZAD slashed its lease rates on new contracts by 25% last March.
Translated by Gabriel Pomerancblum