Through a large delegation comprised of representatives of the Ministry of Trade and Industry, Egypt participated in the events of the Arab-Brazil Economic Forum organised by the Arab-Brazilian Chamber of Commerce in Sao Paulo, in the presence of Brazilian President Michel Temer, in cooperation with the Arab League and the Federation of Arab Chambers. A delegation from the Federation of Egyptian Industries also took part in the event, along with a number of Egyptian businessperons and investors, along with a large number of Brazilian officials and ministers.
Michael Gamal, the director general of bilateral trade agreements at the Ministry of Industry’s trade agreements sector, said that seven discussion sessions were held between the Arab and Brazilian sides during the forum. They involved the fields of economic cooperation, innovation and technology, food security, logistical services, joint investments, renewable energy, halal products, and tourism.
Gamal added that Egypt is the first Arab country to enter into a free-trade agreement with the Mercosur countries, pointing out the importance of using technology to create contact between the private sectors in both countries.
He said that during the session, a suggestion was made to create a mobile application that enables exporters and importers to obtain data on trade, such as custom fees, discounts, and exemptions. They could also learn information about certain goods within the framework of the agreements held between Arab countries and Brazil.
Gamal also pointed out that during the meeting, the Arab-Brazilian Chamber of Commerce held a seminar in cooperation with the trade agreements sector of the Ministry of Trade and Industry to review the most important Egyptian trade agreements in general and the Mercosur agreement in particular.
For his part, Rubens Hannun, the head of the Arab-Brazilian Chamber of Commerce, stressed the importance of trade cooperation between the two sides, as well as the importance of the free-trade agreement between Egypt and the Mercosur countries. He noted that the Brazilian president said during the meeting that it was essential to enter into similar agreements with several Arab countries such as Lebanon, Tunisia, and Morocco. He also announced his readiness to visit any Arab country once he receives an invitation.
The forum coincided with the Egyptian Export Development Authority (EDA) organising the first trade mission to Brazil in cooperation with the Commercial Service Office in Sao Paulo and the Arab-Brazilian Chamber in order to activate the free-trade agreement between Egypt and the Mercosur countries. The mission included 12 Egyptian companies representing several industrial sectors with promising opportunities in the Brazilian market. It aims to utilise the liberalisation of customs in these sectors, which include textile and ready-made apparels, agricultural crops, aromatic plants, fertilisers and chemicals, electric devices, and plastic products.
The mission will be holding several bilateral meetings with Brazilian companies. Additionally, a visit programme is prepared in order to carry out field visits in Brazil to look at products the country imports from rival countries and their selling prices in the Brazilian market. In addition, meetings will be organised with trade bodies, federations, and the Brazilian chambers participating in the Arab-Brazil Economic Forum in order to optimally benefit from this large gathering of Arab countries with Brazil, as well as the gathering of businesspersons, company owners, investors, importers and exporters, federations, civil society organisations, and trade and industrial chambers.