Brazil attaches great importance to its distinguished relationship with Egypt: Brazilian Agriculture Minister

Nehal Samir
5 Min Read

Brazil attaches great importance to its relationship with Egypt, Brazilian Minister of Agriculture, Livestock, and Food Supply (MAPA) Marcos Montes said on Wednesday in a round table with Egyptian journalists on the side-lines of his visit to Cairo.

Montes also mentioned that in September 2021, Brazil’s Vice President Antônio Hamilton Mourão visited Cairo as well, which indicates the importance that Brazil attaches to its distinguished relationship with Egypt.

The minister’s visit to Egypt is part of his tour to Jordan, Egypt, and Morocco to discuss increasing fertiliser imports from these countries.

Montes’ visit to Egypt also aims to identify all challenges facing companies in both countries and discuss with officials solutions to facilitate trade movement.

The minister’s visit to Egypt started on Monday morning and ended on Wednesday afternoon.

In terms of the details of his meetings with the officials in Egypt, Montes revealed that he met with Egypt’s Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Land Reclamation Mostafa Al-Sayeed, where they witnessed the signing of an important memorandum of understanding (MoU) between the Brazilian Agricultural Research Corporation (Embrapa) and Egypt’s Agricultural Research Centre in the agricultural field.

According to the MoU, the two countries will cooperate and exchange experiences in plant and animal genetic improvement, health, climate change, irrigation, and research exchange.

He explained that the Egyptian side can benefit from Brazil’s Low-Carbon Agriculture (ABC) Plan that aims to reduce carbon emissions in agriculture.

Meanwhile, the Egyptian side can transfer its expertise in irrigation methods, as Egypt is strong in this field.

He further explained that Egypt’s irrigation will help transform the cultivation seasons in Brazil from two to three seasons, thereby increasing production.

“The issue is not how Brazil can help Egypt amid the Ukrainian-Russian war, it is about how Egypt and Brazil could cooperate in order to help the world,” Montes said.

“Brazil is a food-producing country, and we strive to achieve food security, while Egypt is a large producer of fertilisers, so Brazilian agriculture cannot succeed without fertilizers. 85% of the fertilisers used in Brazil are imported, and I think Egypt can play a big role in this share,” he explained.

According to the latest figures of the General Organisation for Export and Import Control, Egypt was the main destination for Brazilian exports in 2021, as the volume of trade exchange between Egypt and Brazil amounted to $2.717bn, and the volume of Egypt’s imports from Brazil amounted to $2.234bn.

However, the volume of Egypt’s exports to Brazil in 2021 amounted to $483m.

“It is possible to work on balancing the trade balance between the two countries by clarifying the needs of each party. For example, as I mentioned, Brazil imports 85% of its fertilisers, and Egypt can play a big role in this, especially that Egypt is an important source of fertilisers and Brazil is a major consumer in that regard, and Brazil has a portfolio of high-quality food products that the Egyptian market needs,” he explained.

Montes stressed that fertilisers are as important as food products as there is no food without fertilisers.

According to the latest reports of Egypt’s Ministry of Trade and Industry, Egypt’s imports of agricultural and manufactured agricultural products from Brazil are estimated at $1.5bn, while Egypt exports the same products at only $37.4m.

Montes added that relations between both countries have come a long way in terms of friendship and economic cooperation, especially after the free trade agreement between Egypt and Mercosur went into force in 2017. 

Furthermore, the Brazilian minister said that he invited both the public and private sector in Egypt to visit his country, and that it was agreed to hold a meeting between the private sectors of both countries in Brazil under the auspices of the Brazilian-Arab Chamber of Commerce.

As the world is facing a hike in food prices, and the Egyptian market is concerned about supply, Montes said that he met with the Egyptian Minister of Supply and Internal Trade Ali Moselhi and discussed the possibility of increasing the volume of Egyptian exports of fertilisers to Brazil and increasing the volume of Brazilian exports of food products to Egypt in order to reduce costs and prices.

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