The Arab-Brazilian Chamber of Commerce, in cooperation with the Union of Arab Chambers, organized a virtual seminar entitled: “The impact of the effects of the COVID-19 crisis on the logistics sector in the Arab World... Opportunities and Challenges in Arab-South American Partnership.”
Speaking at the symposium along with the President of the Arab-Brazilian Chamber of Commerce, Rubens Hannun, Dr. Khaled Hanafy, the Secretary General of the Union of Arab Chambers, Dr. Kamal Hassan Ali, Assistant Secretary-General for Economic Affairs at the League of Arab States, Ahmed El-Wakil, President of the Alexandria Chamber of Commerce, Jean-Paul Prates, a member of the Brazilian Senate and head of the parliamentary group he Brazilian-Arab, whereas, Tamer Mansour the Secretary General of the Arab Brazilian Chamber of Commerce, moderated the discussion and dialogue sessions.
The President of the Arab Brazilian Chamber of Commerce, Rubens Hannun, affirmed that “the need to build direct shipping lanes is growing in light of the spread of the (Covid-19) pandemic, which has cast a shadow on global markets, and from this standpoint we look forward to getting closely acquainted with the different ideas, aspirations and viewpoints about how to take the initial steps that pave the way to achieving our goals by creating shipping lanes that support economic and commercial activity,” noting that “the Arab Brazilian Chamber of Commerce has been at the forefront of calling for the establishment of Brazilian-Arab shipping lanes, not only for the purpose of promoting commercial activities between the two sides, but it is also in order to reduce costs and create new business opportunities at the global level."
The Secretary General of the Union of Arab Chambers, Dr. Khaled Hanafy, considered in his speech that the existing cooperation between Arab countries and South American countries is not consistent with the economic, commercial, investment, industrial, tourism and market capabilities of the two parties, pointing out that there are still abundant areas to expand and deepen the cooperation through the maritime link and logistical.
Hanafy affirmed that "due to the development of Arab-Brazilian trade relations, and the increase in trade exchange opportunities between Arab countries and South America, we need to develop logistics services and develop ports to facilitate and improve opportunities for trade exchange, as efforts have already begun to establish a shipping line linking the Arab countries with Brazil and to establish pivotal ports and joint Arab-Brazilian logistical zones supported by a commodity exchange in the Arab region."
He pointed out that Egypt is seeking, in cooperation with the Arab League and the Arab Academy for Science, Technology and Maritime Transport, to establish logistical centers in the Mercosur countries, and direct shipping lines to develop trade exchange, considering that the Arab-Brazilian logistical link is one of the most important factors that will enhance investment opportunities and joint trade exchange in order to reduce the cost of transportation, storage, packing and other logistical operations.
He called for creating a stimulating environment for attracting investments in the Arab region and the South American region through rapid procedures and the application of mechanisms and initiatives such as the single window system for all procedures or the approval of licensed economic agents in addition to signing agreements for mutual recognition of the procedures adopted by each country to facilitate and accelerate intra-trade.
For his part, President of the Alexandria Chamber of Commerce, Ahmed El-Wakil, noted “the necessity to strengthen the mechanisms of Arab-Brazilian cooperation by working to establish free trade zones between Arab countries and Brazil and to take advantage of the industrial zones already present in many free zones adjacent to ports,” stressing that “It is also imperative to establish international logistical centers linking the two regions to overcome the problem of distance that hinders shipping and storage operations. It is also necessary to encourage Arab airlines to establish direct lines to Brazil due to the insufficient lines available. In addition to creating a market for Arab products by introducing the nature of these products and the creation of their own brands to the Brazilian consumer audience.”
The Assistant Secretary-General of the League of Arab States, Head of the Economic Sector, Ambassador Dr. Kamal Hassan Ali, said in his speech during the seminar that the transport and logistics industries were greatly affected by the Corona pandemic, as the two industries were involved in the movement, storage, transportation, purchase and flow of goods as an integral part of global value chains. Whether within or across international borders, he said, pointing out that "the disruptions in the sector's supply chains due to the epidemic could affect the competitiveness, economic growth and job creation in many Arab countries and the companies operating in them."
Source (Union of Arab Chambers)