Egypt is the 11th largest importer of agricultural products in Brazil. Of the US $ 2.1 billion that the country exported to the Arab country in 2018, 67% was related to the sector. Beef, corn, and sugar account for 75% of exports. “But the agenda is still very concentrated. There is plenty of room to grow and diversify, ” said Brazilian Minister of Agriculture, Livestock and Supply, Tereza Cristina, during the Brazil-Egypt Business Seminar, which took place this Sunday (15) in Cairo. The diversification of the trade agenda between the two countries gave emphasis to the event.
Beef, corn, and sugar account for 75% of exports
The Brazilian minister mentioned, for example, that Brazil has worldwide representation in coffee and fruit juices. However, these products don’t have representation in the agenda with Egypt. 11% of the food products consumed in Egypt come from Brazil. But there is a consensus that there is room for growth.
For an audience of mostly Egyptian businessmen, Tereza Cristina spoke about Brazil’s trade partnership with Egypt and said it was imperative that countries continue working to lower barriers. She also stressed that the diversification of the marketed product agenda is one of the main flags of her trip to the Arab countries. In addition to Egypt, she has a mission to Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and the United Arab Emirates.
The relevant topic for the Brazilian government, Amazon was discussed during the seminar. “At the same time as it seeks to increase the productivity and quality of its agriculture, Brazil is developing mechanisms to protect its environment,” she said. The minister also said that the association made internationally between food production in Brazil and deforestation and burning in the Amazon are distortions that are nowhere near the reality. “The problem in the Amazon exists and is being treated with the seriousness it deserves,” she said.
The Executive Director of the Brazilian Association of Animal Protein (ABPA), Ricardo Santin, also presented at the seminar the sustainable side of Brazilian chicken production and agribusiness as a whole. “Brazilian poultry production is outside the Amazon biome,” he said, reinforcing that the segment’s operations are concentrated in southern Brazil. According to him, Brazil has one of the world’s most sustainable poultry production.
11% of the food products consumed in Egypt come from Brazil
For more balance
Director of International Agreements at the Egyptian Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Michael Gamal Kaddes, calls for more flatness in the trade balance. Mercosur’s trade agreement with Egypt is unfavorable to Egypt, according to him, because it focuses its agenda on manufactured goods. “Egypt has not been able to export its agricultural products to Mercosur until today,” he argues. According to Kaddes, Egypt wants to sell more agribusiness products to the bloc’s nations, where Brazil has its largest trading partner.
“Brazil is a country rich in water and poor in fertilizers. Our destiny is to cooperate, ” said Brazil’s ambassador Ruy Amaral in Egypt, showing another example.
“I hope our relations are not limited to meat imports, we want a deeper and truer partnership with Brazil regarding agricultural products,” said Fayez Abaza, Director of Animal Production at the National Organization of Services Projects in Egypt.
Business between Brazil and Egypt needs more agility
The Arab League Economic Council, in a meeting with the ministers of economy of Arab countries, has decided that it will work to develop maritime hotlines between Brazil and Arab countries. The objective is to foster the creation of companies to operate in the area that has joint investments from the Arab and Brazilian private sector.
“If you have a direct line, you save on time and it is possible to be cheaper, you have synergy for the return so that the ship is not empty. When this is in operation, the cost of freight and the cost of goods fall, ”explained the president of the Arab Brazilian Chamber of Commerce, Rubens Hannun.
Currently, between Brazil and Egypt, there is a direct line only for some specific products. And ships from Brazil pass through other regions until they dock in the Arab world.
Another measure that will reduce costs and shorten the time of the Brazilian export process to the Arab countries is the implementation of the online document certification issued by the Arab Brazilian Chamber. “We’re working on it,” he said. “With online certification, the value drops by 20% and the timeframe decreases from 20 to five days.” The use of online certification is already in testing with Jordan.
With information from the Brazil-Arab News Agency