Sharjah-Sao Paulo Business Forum explores cooperation - GulfToday

Sharjah-Sao Paulo Business Forum explores cooperation


Top officials from both sides during the forum in Sharjah.

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 $2.7 billion by the end of the last year. Agro-food products accounted for 60 per cent of the total Brazilian exports to the UAE, while the value of investment flows between the two countries amounted to about $700 million (Dhs2.56 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 $352.2 million (Dhs1.29 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 $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 Sao Paulo accounts for 30 per cent 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 per cent 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 $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 per cent, and many other exclusive privileges.

The Sharjah Chamber of Commerce and Industry announced recently that it is gearing up to take part in the 12th World Chambers Congress (12WCC), to be organised by the Dubai Chamber in cooperation with the World Chambers Federation (WCF) and the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC).

Running from November 23 to 25, the event will be held under the theme ‘Generation Next: Chambers 4.0’, bringing together more than 1200 participants from international organisations and governments representing 100 countries around the world.

To further strengthen its presence in such a prestigious event, which will be attended by chamber and business heads, economic decision-makers, representatives of governmental and international organisations and influential bodies, the SCCI will be among the key sponsors of the congress.

The SCCI said that its sponsorship of the event comes in line with its keenness to support global efforts being made to find ways of cooperation and achieving flexibility in the business structure. It is also to shed light on the vital role that technology can play in changing the global trading system and reshaping the way of doing business in light of the digital revolution and the effects it will have on major economic sectors.

“The SCCI takes great interest in sponsoring the WCC and is attending it for the seventh time in a row. In the past edition, we were among the golden sponsors of the event held in Brazil in the year 2019. This is in line with our vision to catapult the local business community to new heights of international excellence and competition and to promote Sharjah’s position as a major player in the international trade sector,” Abdallah Sultan Al Owais said.


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