Saudis want government-led rapport-building with Brazil

The secretary-general of the Council of Arab Chambers believes companies in Brazil and Saudi Arabia must work in closer connection as their governments build tighter relations.

Isaura Daniel

Riyadh, Saudi Arabia – The building of rapport between the governments of Brazil and Saudi Arabia will prompt Saudi private sector players to seek doing more business with Brazilians. The wish for closer proximity with corporations was expressed by Council of Saudi Chambers CEO and secretary-general Saud Almashari to the president of the Arab Brazilian Chamber of Commerce, Rubens Hannun, this Monday (16) in Riyadh. Arab Chamber staff and executives are currently in Saudi Arabia as part of Agriculture, Livestock and Supply minister Tereza Cristina’s delegation to the country.

“We are looking to build better relations,” Almashari told ANBA, regarding the private sector, after the meeting. He believes that as the governments grow closer, businesses will follow suit. Brazil’s president Jair Bolsonaro had a meeting with Saudi prince Mohammad bin Salman in the sidelines of the G20 summit last June, and is slated to pay an official visit to Saudi Arabia next October.

Arab Chamber executives at the Council headquarters

A Saudi group will be in Brazil next week to work out a schedule for the Brazilian delegation that will accompany Bolsonaro to Saudi Arabia, and the Arab Brazilian Chamber has pledged to cooperate with the Council of Saudi Chambers to this end.

Almashari spoke with Hannun about a bevy of initiatives to build ties with Brazilian corporate players. The Council’s CEO said he expects Brazilian enterprises to join the B20 (Business 20) in the sidelines of the G20 summit, which Saudi Arabia is hosting in November 2020. “We intend to bring a Brazilian delegation,” Almashari told Hannun. He also called on the Arab Chamber for assistance.

The B20 is a forum that sees G20 businesspeople come together to discuss ways to address existing obstacles to trade and investment between their countries. “There’s an initiative to build closer relations between the two governments. Saudi Arabia and Brazil are G20 members. From an economic perspective, Brazil is very important to Saudi Arabia,” said Almashari.

Hannun and Almashari also went over other actions to integrate the Saudi and Brazilian markets, including tandem planning for 2020 between the Council of Saudi Chambers and the Arab Brazilian Chamber. The idea is to have the Arab Chamber and the Council come up with shared initiatives and strategies. The Council of Saudi Chambers comprises 28 chambers of commerce.

Rubens Hannun also called on the Council to help bring a Saudi delegation to the Brazil-Arab Countries Economic Forum in April 2020. The event will be hosted by the Arab Chamber on the 14th in São Paulo. “We’d like to welcome businesspeople and panelists from Saudi Arabia,” said Hannun.

The meeting at the Council’s headquarters was also attended by assistant secretary-general Waleed Alorainan, Arab Chamber secretary-general Tamer Mansour, and Arab Chamber Institutional Relations manager Fernanda Baltazar.

Translated by Gabriel Pomerancblum

Isaura Daniel/ANBA
Isaura Daniel/ANBA

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