The Conclusion of the Activities of the Brazil & Arab Countries Forum - Khaled Hanafy: To Move the Relationship towards the Strategic Cooperation Instead of the Traditional One

  • Virtual Forum
  • 23 October 2020

The Secretary General of the Union of Arab Chambers, Dr. Khaled Hanafy, stressed during the conclusion of the activities of the Brazil & Arab Countries Economic Forum, which was held virtually over a period of 4 continuous days, that there is a desire to move from mere exports and imports to strategic relations to change the way in which Brazil and Arab countries cooperate, considering that the current stage in light of the Corona pandemic requires us to think creatively.

Hanafy pointed out that "the work sessions enjoyed constructive discussions, and in my view, in order for opinions and ideas that were reviewed over the days of the forum to be changed, words must be transformed into action, as the Corona pandemic proved a compelling fact that health and food are interrelated, and from this point of view we must build sustainable agricultural food systems and we are intensifying cooperation between us as Arab and Brazilian partners in order to meet the growing demand for food, which contributes to enhancing food security throughout the planet."

He also stressed that there is a need for a direct shipping passage between Brazil and the Arab countries to expand business, as this route will connect different ports, and it is imperative to have more than one hub port to connect the Arab region with Brazil and through South America.

Hanafy  stated: The establishment of the direct shipping passage is a major logistical project for the League of Arab States, the Union of Arab Chambers and the Arab-Brazilian Chamber of Commerce, and we are about to take a strategic decision regarding ports in this next stage, which will include stops in Morocco and the Gulf. From here we must work to reach those markets, and we can never simply be satisfied with exports and imports as they are now, as our horizons must be broadened, and the strategic partnership can greatly enhance economic relations and add value across multiple sectors, by working together on this vital project, we can support small suppliers with a direct transportation system that will benefit everyone.”

For his part, Robins Hannun, President of the Arab Brazilian Chamber of Commerce (ABCC), explained that the event witnessed a very important audience, as we were able to reach all five continents from 61 different countries.

“The event attracted 10,000 viewers throughout 20 hours of live broadcast in three different languages,” he said. In addition to the panel discussions, it included a 3D exhibition featuring Arab and Brazilian companies, which received 2,300 visitors and hundreds of virtual meetings, were scheduled.

The advisor for special projects for marketing and communications in the Saudi Ministry of Investment, Khaled Tash, stressed the need for continued trade and investments, pointing out that the Kingdom has a growing population and the administration encourages health care spending, which was the highest in all of the Middle East and North Africa region. Pointing out that the other major areas of cooperation between our two countries are the halal industry, especially in sectors such as food products, health and cosmetics.

For his part, Carlos Moises, Santa Catarina’s Governor discussed investment opportunities in his state, and said: We have investment programs in infrastructure and ports in addition to federal ports available for the concession.

As for Ajlan Al-Ajlan, the Chairman of the Council of Saudi Chambers, he pointed out that we have a common need for cooperation now more than ever, and this forum constituted a unique opportunity to enhance economic cooperation between the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and Brazil.

Ibrahim Al-Zeben, the Palestinian Ambassador and Dean of the Council of Arab Ambassadors in Brazil considered that the commercial deals that were concluded and the announcement of the new international offices of ABCC indicate a mutual desire to transfer commercial relations to a high level, pointing out that "there is no doubt that the offices in Cairo And Riyadh will enable more cooperation, in addition to strategic partnerships in major ports.

For his part, Hussam Zaki, the Assistant Secretary-General of the Arab League and Head of the Secretary-General's Office, said that the Arab League watched with great interest the activities of the forum over the four days, considering that the topics covered are of utmost importance, on top of which is food security, especially in light of the current global situation that requires of us to think creatively.

Senator and President of the Brazilian-Arab Parliamentary Group Jean-Paul Prats also spoke at the closing ceremony, who praised the agreements reached during the event. Likewise, it was two speeches for the Minister of Economy of the State of Palestine, Khaled Al-Asaily and Vice President of Brazil Hamilton Murao.

Source (Union of Arab Chambers)

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