Apex-Brasil, embassies devise operation strategy

07 de dezembro de 2017

São Paulo – The Brazilian Trade and Investment Promotion Agency (Apex-Brasil) will work close to the Trade Sector (SECOM) of Brazilian embassies abroad. The strategy was detailed this Thursday (7) by the agency’s president, Roberto Jaguaribe, in a meeting with journalists at Hotel Renaissance, in São Paulo, to a review of the actions taken in 2017 and the presentation of 2018’s projects.

Apex-Brasil frequently looks for the support and partners up with the embassies abroad for its actions. The agency works the promotion of Brazilian exports by sector and the SECOMs will now be integrated in their developments, “in order to absorb the knowledge that they have of each market in which they are located,” said Jaguaribe. According to the president, a pilot project in which the SECOMs were called for their opinion, of the rice sector, already achieved a significant change in the perception of relevant markets for the sector.

The embassies’ trade sectors will also be called upon for the generation of information about the markets. “We are, through the SECOMs, drafting some regional and national strategies in order to maximize market share by Brazil in each country,” said Apex-Brasil’s president. The strategy is part of an understanding by the agency of the need to involve other players from Brazil in its sector projects.

This action was introduced last year and will continue in 2018. Apex-Brasil also established other goals, such as converting the agency in a one-stop shop for Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in Brazil. It already carried on many actions to attract investments, such as the promotion of the Brasil Investment Forum this year, which will have other editions, plus many partnerships in this area.

Within the work for the attraction of foreign investment, the Arab countries are targets. Jaguaribe said that Brazil is very interested in attracting investments from Arab funds. “Brazil is the largest Lebanese country in the world,” he said, strengthening the ties that link Brazil and the region.

Other Apex-Brasil’s strategies for next year are the reinforcement of the work for the promotion of Brazilian agribusiness and e-commerce. The agency has created an Agribusiness management, which operates 18 sector projects. For e-commerce, the idea is to promote the inclusion of Brazilian companies in the international market with online retail and electronic platforms. In the latter cases, the targets are China, United States, Mexico and Argentina.

A year almost gone

In its review of 2017, Apex-Brasil showed exports data from January to October, a period in which the Apex-supported companies earned USD 51.6 billion with foreign sales. They accounted for 28.1% of everything that was exported by Brazil in the year’s first ten months, which was USD 183.5 billion. In all, 11,562 companies, in 223 markets across the world, received support. From these companies, 50.4% took advantage of trade promotion actions, with 2.6% benefiting from internationalization and 47% benefiting from qualification.

Among the ten largest exports destinations to Apex-Brasil-supported companies, one is Arab: Saudi Arabia, which is eighth in the rankings with USD 1.4 billion in acquired product. The ranking’s top spot belongs to China (USD 9.7 billion), the second is the United States (USD 6.2 billion) and the third is Argentina (USD 2.;6 million). The ranking follows with the Netherlands, Hong Kong, Japan, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Iran and Germany.

Regarding the Arab market, Jaguaribe stressed that Brazil sustain relevant ties with the region, particularly in food supplies. “Some Brazilian food companies are the biggest halal protein producers in the world. This is a market Brazil has secured for some time now, whether you’re talking about the Gulf, Egypt or a non-Arab country such as Iran,” Apex-Brasil’s president said, going on to mention other halal goods-importing countries like Saudi Arabia. 

According to Jaguaribe, Arab presence in Brazil creates much affinity. “We took a poll of destinations that would-be exporting companies expect to sell to, and one of the top five countries was the UAE, because Dubai has created the conditions for that,” he said. He also said there are investments in place by Brazilian companies in Arab countries, and that Apex-Brasil is carrying out specific actions targeting the region.

He said these actions include a mission of the Special Secretariat of Brazil’s Investment Partnerships Program (PPI) to five Gulf countries in November – Apex-Brasil was involved – and a mission to Abu Dhabi due next week involving Apex-Brasil, the Brazilian Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Supply and the Brazilian Ministry of Foreign Relations. Both actions are intended to attract investments to Brazil. 

*Translated by Sérgio Kakitani