By: Nada Badawi
Trade flow between Brazil and Arab countries increased by 3.26% in 2012, reaching nearly $26bn, compared with $25.11bn in 2011, the Arab-Brazilian Chamber of Commerce (CCAB) reported in a press release on Monday.
CCAB General Secretary and CEO Michel Alaby said that “Brazil continues to nurture strong trade relations with the Arab world and this is evident in the sustained growth of trade volume between the two parties over the years”.
Brazilian imports marked a noticeable increase from nearly all Arab exporting countries, led by Lebanon (491%), Qatar (214%), Kuwait (148%) and Bahrain (103%).
In 2012 alone, Brazil imported $11.10bn worth of goods from Arab countries, a significant increase of 11% from $9.98bn in 2011.
The list of goods imported by Brazil from the Arab world included fuel, fertilizers and salt/sulphur.
Fuels topped the list recording $9.11bn, with fertilizers recording $1.32bn and salt/sulphur recording $180m.
Alaby highlighted how Brazil and its Arab partners are continuously engaged “in multilateral talks to further expand trade activities and explore mutually beneficial investment opportunities across diverse industries”.
Brazilian exports to the Arab world totalled $14.83bn last year, a slight decline of nearly 2% from $15.13bn in 2011.
The decline is explained by the tumultuous events that occurred in several Arab countries due to the Arab Spring, according to the release.
Top Brazilian exports to Arab countries included sugars worth $4.24bn, meat worth $3.93bn and ores worth $2.44bn.
Despite such figures, a significant increase in exports to other Arab countries was recorded, including Oman (35.73%), Yemen (38.37%), the UAE (13.26%) and Egypt (3.35%).
“The Arab-Brazilian Chamber of Commerce plays a key role in nurturing and consolidating these strategic partnerships, while helping generate new opportunities for Arab and Brazilian enterprises,” said Alaby.
“It was certainly another solid year overall in 2012 despite a few challenges along the way, and we intend to build on this important breakthrough to further boost economic, cultural and tourism activities between Brazil and the Arab world,” he continued.
The CCAB was established in 1952 with the mission of strengthening commercial bonds between Brazil and Arab countries, and includes 22 Arab countries.
The CCAB also aims to increase cultural and tourism exchange between Arabs and Brazilians, through the provision of various services such as document certification, market data, translation, among others, and promotes events, workshops and courses.