Ambassador wants to promote Brazil-Jordan trade
25 de setembro de 2017
São Paulo – Brazil’s ambassador in Amman, Jordan, Francisco Carlos Soares Luz, showed his support this Monday (25) to actions to promote bilateral trade. “Trade has been stagnant for quite some time, at a quite reasonable level, above USD 150 million [per year] and apparently there’s some recovery, but actions are needed to make it reach a level that is compatible with both economies,” said the diplomat by phone to ANBA.
Soares Luz met this Monday in Amman with the Arab Brazilian Chamber of Commerce president Rubens Hannun, International Relations vice president Osmar Chohfi and special projects advisor to the president Tamer Mansour, who are in the Jordanian capital to attend the Arab-African Economic Forum, to be held this week.
Among the possible actions to foster trade, the diplomat mentioned the organization of a mission to Jordan headed by a Brazilian minister in next year’s first half and, after that, the holding of a Brazil-Arab Countries Economic Forum. This forum was discussed in a meeting of the Arab Brazilian Chamber executives with the president of the General Union of Chambers of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture, Nael Al Kabariti, which the ambassador also attended.
“This forum is a very interesting new development and a way to stimulate business,” said Soares Luz. “Jordan has grown considerably in the last few years. It expanded due to the refugee influx starting in 2011. There are 1.3 million Syrians living in the country,” he added.
But trade with Brazil did not keep pace with the Arab country’s growing population and economy – in fact, it has been on a downward curve since 2014. This year, however, business picked up again, and saw its best monthly result in years last August. The ambassador stressed that poultry, beef, livestock and coffee make up the bulk of exports from Brazil, and that diversification is needed.
In addition to food products, he believes Brazil could export more items including agricultural machinery, medical equipment and ceramic facing, as well as import more olive oil, olives, dates, Dead Sea cosmetics and phosphates.
From January to August, exports from Brazil to Jordan amounted to USD 141.4 million, up 5.8% year-on-year. Imports reached USD 4.5 million, up 49.65% according to data from the Brazilian Ministry of Industry, Foreign Trade and Services.
During the ministerial meeting expected to happen in the first half of 2018, the diplomat believes a Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA) currently under discussion by the two countries could be completed. This could also boost bilateral deals.
“There are pharmaceutical companies, a language school and law firms in Jordan that are interested in investing in Brazil, and there are USD 15 million worth of Brazilian investment in solar power projects underway in Jordan, and the agreement will help with this,” said Soares Luz.
Besides the Jordanian market, which has become “more attractive” due to population growth, the ambassador pointed out that the country is growing as a business hub that allows access to the neighboring Syria and Iraq, and as land borders reopen, Jordan’s importance grows as a “logistics hub” for the reconstruction of those two countries.
*Translated by Sérgio Kakitani & Gabriel Pomerancblum