Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro said funds originating from the Arab world are nearly $20 billion -- with half coming from the South American nation's recent participation at the Expo Dubai.
At the opening of the Brazil & Arab Countries Economic Forum in Sao Paulo, on Monday, Bolsonaro said the Arab market is the third-largest internationally market for Brazil, behind China and the US, acknowledging that in 2021, trade between Brazil and Arab League nations reached "a record" of more $24 billion.
"This figure is expected to continue rising. From January to April, Brazil's exports to the Arab world jumped from US$4 billion in 2021 to US$5.2 billion in 2022," said Bolsonaro, adding that Brazil's main trade partner in Africa last year was Algeria while Egypt was one of the largest markets for Brazilian beef.
Bolsonaro also touched on food security and said ties with Brazil and the Arab world have gained momentum.
“At a time when the international community is seeking efforts to guarantee the world's food security, the link between Brazil and the Arab world is strengthened. Not even in the face of the challenges imposed by the pandemic have we stopped playing our role in the food supply. Brazil is today the largest exporter of halal protein in the world. Besides the trade of chicken and beef, our exports of sugar, soy, and wheat are also growing. On the other hand, 26% of the fertilizers that supply Brazilian agribusiness come from the Arab world.”
Morocco continues to be one of the main suppliers of fertilizers to Brazil after Canada and Russia, according to Bolsonaro.
Brazilian Vice President Hamilton Mourao also highlighted that 80% of trade to Arab markets are agricultural commodities while the main imports are mineral fuels and fertilizers.
He pushed for more key collaboration with Arab partners, specifically in areas of technology and investment.
He underscored that relations with the Arab world have grown since 2003, adding that "Brazil has become the largest producers of halal protein in the world and is working to provide other products adapted to the customs and traditions of the Islamic religion."
The fourth Brazil-Arab Countries Economic forum was promoted by the Arab-Brazilian Chamber of Commerce to strengthen relations between Brazil and the 22 nations of the League of Arab States, with business delegations from Lebanon, the United Arab Emirates and Jordan, amongst others.
Brazil counts on 18 diplomatic representations across 22 nations which comprise the Arab League.
There are around 10 million people from the Arab community in Brazil./aa