The Arab Brazilian Chamber of Commerce (ABCC) signed two memorandums of understanding on Wednesday (29) in Egypt with the country’s Ministry of Trade and Industry and the Federation of Egyptian Chambers of Commerce for setting up a representative office of the ABCC in Cairo aimed at fostering trade and economic cooperation between Egypt, Brazil and neighboring countries.
The first agreement was signed by Egypt’s Trade an Industry minister Nevin Gamea and ABCC president Osmar Chohfi in the presence of Brazil’s vice president Hamilton Mourão, Brazil’s ambassador to Cairo Antonio Patriota, Union of Arab chambers secretary-general Khaled Hanafy, and Federation of Egyptian Chambers of Commerce chairman Ibrahim Al-Arabi. Pictured above, Chohfi and Gamea signing an agreement.
The second memorandum of understanding was penned between Al-Arabi and the ABCC president to host the Brazilian institution’s representative office in the Federation of Egyptian Chambers of Commerce in Cairo.
The minister of Trade and Industry said tha the five-year agreement between the ministry and the ABCC comes in a moment that the ministry endeavors to create a good framework for cooperation between businesspeople from the two countries, bearing in mind the importance of the cooperation between the private sectors of Egypt and Brazil.
She stressed that the Egyptian government and private sector, represented by the Federation of Egyptian Chambers of Commerce, praises the opening of a regional office of the ABCC in Cairo, which is expected to contribute to serving the common interests of Egyptian and Brazilian businesspeople, support commercial cooperation and streamline the circulation of goods and services between the two countries.
The minister explained that the agreement stems from free trade agreements signed between Egypt and the Mercosur countries – which includes Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay and Paraguay – in force since 2017.
Gamea said the ABCC office in Cairo will play a major role in developing Egypt-Brazil trade and will be a steppingstone for the Egypt-Brazil cooperation to engage other African countries, making Brazil benefit from the free trade agreements Egypt has with them.
Osmar Chohfi said that the services offered by the office include talking with the ABCC’s Egyptian counterparts and Egypt’s government agencies and businesspeople to establish communication channels on trade and investments between the two countries.
He added that these services include holding trade and economic missions to and from Brazil, as well as preparing and organizing all commercial activities related to these visits and missions.
They also include providing services to Brazilian-funded companies by brokering the dialogue between them and Egyptian governmental agencies and businesspeople in order to boost trade and investment relations between these companies and their Egyptian counterparts, the ABCC’s president said.
Chohfi said the services of the office will also include promoting the participation of companies in commercial and economic events, exhibitions and conferences and communicating with all relevant authorities on this regard in a local and regional level. It will also contribute to preparing, organizing and participating in these events by providing services related to legal assistance in commerce and protection of intellectual property.
Federation of Egyptian Chambers
Ibrahim Al-Arabi said the launch of the activities of the Egyptian-Brazilian Business Forum in the presence of officials and business leaders from both countries is a living example of the public-private partnership Egypt seek in various fields.
He added that the Arab world imports more than 60% of its foodstuffs and around 60% of the inputs for the food industry for over USD 100 billion a year, with Brazil being a key partner in the supplying of these products. He added that the exports could be increased via trilateral cooperation.
Al-Arabi explained that the Arab League and the Arab Academy for Science Technology & Maritime Transport have worked on establishing logistics centers in the Mercosur countries and instructing shipowners to boost trade between Egypt and these countries.
The Federation’s chair added that the value of joint investments between Egypt and Brazil has surpassed USD 1 billion in the industries of cement, buses, trailers, food and logistics, not to mention the Egyptian investments in Brazilian farms, slaughterhouses and power industry.
He stressed that the trade has surpassed USD 2.5 billion between the two countries, and a major part focus on serving the production needs of industries that export to free trade zones. He said, however, that this is far from meeting the desired goals or reaching the full potential of the available opportunities. Egypt offers the Brazilian investors a solid foundation, safe investments and unique opportunities, Al-Arabi said.
*Report by Omar Assi
Translated by Guilherme Miranda
News from ANBA´s website.