Brazil makes its case to Saudis that Brazilian agribusiness is good for them


Anba | 22 October 2009


Written by Marina Sarruf

Brazil's Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Supply is going to promote a seminar on the investment opportunities in the sector, in Riyadh, the Saudi capital, on November 2nd. The goal is to attract Saudi capital to Brazilian agribusiness.

The event, organized by the Agribusiness International Promotion department, will take place on the sidelines of the Brazilian food sector delegation to the Arab country.

"For some time now, Saudi Arabia has been announcing investment in agribusiness in other countries, but Brazil has never been mentioned," said the director of the department, Eduardo Sampaio.

According to him, the establishment of a Saudi state-owned company, Agroinvest, to support investment abroad in the sector opens doors to Brazil, which offers high availability of farmland, a favorable climate, available water, specialized labor and technology.

According to Sampaio, the Brazilian diversity in agricultural food chains makes it possible for foreigners to invest through partnerships with large companies with great production, acquisition, transformation and food trade capacity. "The idea is to show that the Arabs may invest in agriculture in Brazil without the need for purchasing land," said the director.

Apart from partnerships with agro-industrial companies or trading companies, the seminar should show that the financing mechanisms in the country are already well known, which allows for greater safety, liquidity and product supply guarantee.

These mechanisms are going to be presented by the Agribusiness vice president at the Bank of Brazil, Luís Carlos Guedes. Apart from him, the Agricultural Policy secretary at the ministry, Edílson Guimarães, should make a presentation.

"Brazilian agribusiness makes possible Saudi investment in all sectors, like grain, sugar, dairy, beef and chicken, fruit and honey," said the director.

This is the first time that the Ministry of Agriculture promotes a seminar of the kind in the Middle East. According to Sampaio, the fact that these countries present local land and water restrictions for production, alongside the tendency for appreciation of the prices of agricultural commodities, caused the countries of the Gulf to announce several agricultural projects abroad, to guarantee the future supply of food.

At the end of the event, representatives of Brazilian associations in the beef, dairy, juice and grain sectors are going to participate in meetings with local businessmen.


From November 1st to 4th, 16 Brazilian companies in the food sector will be participating in the Saudi Agro-Food fair, in Riyadh. The Brazilian pavilion should cover 144 square meters and is organized by the Ministry with the support of consultancy company Conceito Brazil and the Arab Brazilian Chamber of Commerce.

The event should bring together 650 exhibitors from over 38 countries. Among the sectors of Brazilian companies to be at the fair are dairy, meats, animal feed, coffee and sweets.

According to information supplied by the organizers of the event, Saudi Arabia imported in 2008 the equivalent to US$ 15 billion in food, an increase of 25% over 2007. Brazil alone exported the equivalent to US$ 1.43 billion in agribusiness products to the country last year, growth of 45% over 2007.

Foreign Trade Meeting

The Encomex, the foreign trade meeting that began October 21st and ends October 22 in the city of São Paulo, should have the Arab market as one of its themes. The Market Development manager at the Arab Brazilian Chamber of Commerce, Rodrigo Solano, should give talk "How to Negotiate with the Arabs", at panel "Diversifying export destinations".

The meeting should take place at the Latin American Memorial and is promoted by the Ministry of Development, Industry and Foreign Trade.

The Encomex is promoted in several states and cities in Brazil to guide businessmen with regard to foreign trade and to boost their participation in the foreign market. The Encomex started taking place twelve years ago and since then there have been over 130 meetings.

According to Solano, the event should include professionals of all different levels who are connected to foreign trade. "The objective of the talk about the Arab countries is to generate knowledge of a market that was alternative, but that is consolidating itself as an important foreign trade market for Brazil," said Solano.

Solano should show the potential of the Arab market, as an importer, and speak about the opportunities in the region that may be made use of by Brazilian exporters. The Arab market imports US$ 631.87 billion in products each year.

"And Brazil makes little use of this opportunity, as our exports are greatly concentrated on ores, meats and sugar", said the manager. According to Solano, Arab nations import a broad series of products, ranging from machinery and electronic products to vehicles.

The speaker recalls that on the Arab market, there is competition with Asian and European products, so companies must work hard to get prepared, adapting to the market and investing in marketing. "It is necessary to go there, to adapt to the client," said Solano, recalling that Brazilian companies have already done this very well on the domestic market.

"Customer support in Brazil is very high quality, Brazilian sellers know how to promote their products very well," he said, recalling that the same should be done regarding the foreign market.
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