Sharjah-Sao Paulo Business Forum Explores Economic Cooperation

SHARJAH, (Pakistan Point News - 28th Oct, 2021) The Sharjah Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCCI) organised the Sharjah-Sao Paulo Business Forum on Wednesday, during the visit of a high-level delegation from the Republic of Brazil headed by Joao Agripino da Costa Doria Junior, Governor of Brazil's southeast state of Sao Paulo.

The forum highlighted joint investment opportunities, encouraged cooperation and partnerships in various economic sectors, and provided an opportunity to more than 100 businesspersons in the two countries to meet and discuss the cooperation and investment opportunities available.

The forum was attended by Abdulla Sultan Al Owais, Chairman of the board of Directors of SCCI; Khalid Jassim Al Midfa, Chairman of the Sharjah Commerce and Tourism Development Authority; Issa Hilal Al Hezami, Chairman of the Sharjah Sports Council; Osmar Chohfi, President of the Arab-Brazilian Chamber of Commerce (ABCC); Fernando Igreja, Brazilian Ambassador to the UAE, and Mohammed Ahmed Amin Al Awadi, Director-General, SCCI.

Also attending were Saif Mohammed Al Midfa, CEO of Expo Centre Sharjah; Mohammed Juma'a Al Musharrakh, CEO of the Sharjah FDI Office (Invest in Sharjah), several ministers from Sao Paulo, officials from government institutions and bodies in the Emirate of Sharjah, and a large group of businessmen from major Brazilian and UAE commercial, food, and industrial companies.

On the sidelines of the event, the Sharjah Chamber and Investe SP, Sao Paulo, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU).

The MoU aims to strengthen trade relations, facilitate economic cooperation between the business communities in both countries, and exchange trade delegations. It will enhance discussions in the fields of export and economy, support follow-up visits for this purpose and promote available investment opportunities, exchange experiences, knowledge and training for members.

In his speech, Abdulla Sultan Al Owais said, "The total volume of trade exchange between the UAE and Brazil reached US$2.7 billion by the end of the last year. Agro-food products accounted for 60 percent of the total Brazilian exports to the UAE, while the value of investment flows between the two countries amounted to about US$700 million (AED2.56 billion) during the past five years. These figures have put the UAE first in the Arab world regarding trade and investment dealings with Brazil."

Al Owais added, "The value of the UAE’s imports from Brazil in the first quarter of this year amounted to about US$352.2 million (AED1.29 billion), ranking third among the largest importers of Brazilian goods. The UAE's main imports from Brazil included iron ore and food products such as sugar, poultry, beef, grains, soybeans and corn. The UAE is also the second-largest buyer of Brazilian products in the middle East, while oil, urea, sulphur and aircraft spare parts are among the UAE's main exports to Brazil. The UAE is also among Brazil’s most prominent international investors, with investments estimated at US$5 billion."

Among the most critical sectors of the UAE investment in Brazil are container terminal management, unloading and loading of goods, aluminium industry, port construction and management, shipbuilding, air transport for passengers and goods, oil and natural gas exploration, financial and banking sector, real estate activities, power generation, shipping and storage, infrastructure development, mining, and sports marketing.

"The state of São Paulo accounts for 30 percent of the entire Brazilian economy and has the largest manufacturers of sugar, juices, coffee, and fruits. It also has the best airports and a developed road network. In addition, the state has four million entrepreneurs, and during the past year, it attracted more than one million entrepreneurial projects," Doria said.

He noted that Sao Paulo's economy has improved by eight percent this year, which is the best in 50 years, adding that the state has provided 1.2 million jobs this year and has more than 20 new projects.

Mohammed Al Musharrakh made a presentation on the opportunities for foreign direct investment in the sectors that drive sustainable development in Sharjah, highlighting the unique investment environment in the emirate and the key sectors that can attract foreign investments and start-ups from around the world to Sharjah.

Al Musharrakh underlined that the pandemic does not deter Sharjah's ongoing endeavours from attracting foreign investments, pointing to the emirate's success in bringing investments by about US$320 million during these challenging times.

Al Musharrakh called Brazilian businesspersons and investors to capitalise on the recent economic reforms witnessed by Sharjah, including raising foreign ownership in several economic sectors to 100 percent, and many other exclusive privileges.