Brazil: Brazilians prepare for Saudi market

Camara de Comercio Árabe Brasileira

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10/05/2011 – 19:24

Business opportunities

Companies due to attend Food Arabia, in Jeddah, toward the end of the month, have good business expectations. They attended a preparatory meeting at the Arab Brazilian Chamber.

By Alexandre Rocha

São Paulo – Brazilians are preparing to seek business deals on the market of Saudi Arabia, the largest Arab economy. Representatives of four companies due to participate in Food Arabia, a food industry fair to be held in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, from May 29th to June 1st, attended a preparatory meeting this Tuesday (10th) at the Arab Brazilian Chamber of Commerce, in São Paulo. All of the companies will be at the fair for the first time.

Meat packing company Equatorial, based in Açailândia, in the state of Maranhão, for instance, already sells to the Saudis, but wants to expand its business. “We are expecting to broaden our client base,” said Alessandro Mendonça, of the company’s Halal product export department.

Aside from Saudi Arabia, the company exports to the United Arab Emirates, Libya, Palestine and China, and intends to start selling to Egypt soon. “We are trying to cover the entire Middle East,” said Mendonça.

Of the company’s four units, one carries out Halal slaughter of cattle. In case the strategy for expansion in the Arab world is successful, the company intends to start slaughtering cattle following Islamic law at two of its plants. As part of this work, Equatorial wants to establish an office in Dubai, in the Emirates, in the next few months.

The fair also covers hotel and catering products, therefore Oxford Porcelanas, based in the state of Santa Catarina, will also exhibit at the Brazilian booth. According to the company’s export manager for Africa, Latin America and the Middle East, Sami El Oumairi, the company will introduce its Premium lines of tableware.

“Saudi Arabia is very important, because it has the highest GDP of the region and purchases high value-added products,” said Oumairi. The Santa Catarina-based enterprise already sells to other countries in the Middle East and North Africa, but only sold to Saudi Arabia once, approximately three years ago. Now, the goal is to seek steady deals. “The market is fantastic and has potential for our products,” he added.

Trading company ABN International, based in São Paulo, does not do business in the Arab world yet, but is hoping to start at Food Arabia. The enterprise sells assai-based products, energy drinks made from guaraná, natural juices and sugar. “We are trying to develop the Middle Eastern market,” said Gabriel Oliveira, of the company’s trade department.

At present, according to Oliveira, ABN exports to the United States and is starting to do business in Asia and Europe. Aside from showing its products, the company wants to offer its services to Saudi companies interested in operating in Brazil. “Many [foreign] enterprises are interested in entering the Brazilian market,” he claimed.

The meeting was also attended by Mohamad Sus, of company MS Trading. The Brazilian participation in the Saudi fair is promoted by the Arab Brazilian Chamber and by the Brazilian Ministry of Foreign Relations. The Arab Brazilian Chamber CEO Michel Alaby and other representatives supplied the businessmen with information about the Arab country, details of the fair and of the programme that will be held in the sidelines.

*Translated by Gabriel Pomerancblum