Brazilians and Qataris negotiate at the Arab Chamber

26 de setembro de 2017

São Paulo – The Arab Brazilian Chamber of Commerce organized in its headquarters, in São Paulo, several meetings between business owners from Qatar and Brazil during the afternoon of this Tuesday (26). A mission organized by the Qatar Development Bank (QDB) came to the country totally open to do business and will leave with the feeling that an important step was taken to expand business relations between the two countries.

To many, the main goal was to get to know and establish contact with a market still unexplored. “It was the first step that we took,” said Abdul Rahman Ariss, marketing manager at Qatar International Cables Company (QICC), a manufacturer of power cables, who visited Brazil for the first time.

Ariss was seeking contact with building contractors, companies from the oil and gas sectors and power suppliers. In the late afternoon he met with AES Eletropaulo, the power utility company for São Paulo and its metro area. QICC is part of the French group Nexans and exports from Qatar to the Gulf region, Turkey and other European countries.

“It’s very important to make the first contact face to face,” said Walid Osman, sales and marketing manager at Qatar Pharma, who plans to export, mainly, products for intravenous solutions. “But I am also seeking to buy Brazilian products, especially antibiotics,” he said.

Although he hadn’t signed any deals, the executive said that he had interesting conversations that could generate good deals in the future. “I’m now expecting Brazilian entrepreneurs to also visit Doha,” said Osman.

Another important mission achieved by the business owners was to promote Qatar to their Brazilian counterparts. “Many of them don’t even know that there are industries in Qatar,” said Tamer Omer, general manager at Al-Hodaifi Cable Compounding, based in Doha. Born in Egypt, the executive that has been living in the Gulf country for the last two years, was willing to talk about the possibility of any deals, import or export.

Al-Hodaifi sells raw material for the making of XLPE wires, an acronym for Cross-Linked Polyethylene. According to Omer, the company exports to the Gulf region and to some African countries, but the current political scenario made it set its sights on other markets. “Our intention is to work with a representative here. I believe it’s the ideal way to start operating in a new market,” he explained. To him, Brazil can also be an important path to reaching other Latin American countries.

Strengthened relations

But the meetings at the Arab Chamber’s headquarters were not only about first contacts. Ashraf Hassan, CEO at Al Tahaluf Food Stuff & Trading, came to represent Agrico and Qatar Meat Production in search of beef and poultry suppliers. The company owns an animal protein processing plant in Qatar and wishes to increase its purchases of Brazilian products.

“Brazilian beef and poultry are very well-known in the Gulf region and are of excellent quality,” said Hassan, who estimates that he buys 4,000 tons of both types of meat per year from Brazil. They are used by Qatar Meat in manufacturing hamburgers, nuggets, meat balls, baloney and other processed products. “Our intention is to expand purchases, since we are increasing our production capacity,” he said.

On the Brazilian side there were also very fruitful talks. Roberto Giannini, business development director at Alphatec, pointed out his meeting with the companies Qatar Aluminium, from the aluminum sector, and Delta, from the oil and gas sector. “We will conduct joint studies and there’s a real possibility of signing a deal,” said the executive, who praised the level of the presentations and the organization of the business matchmaking event by the Arab Chamber.

Delta executives came from Qatar committed to strengthening relations with Petrobras, according to its CEO Wesam Swelem. However, he said he was glad to speak with private sector representatives. “It was good to understand how the Brazilian market works,” said the executive, whose company did business with Colombia in the past.

Giannini, from Alphatec, also pointed out the talk he had with Qatar’s ambassador in Brasília, Mohammed Alhayki, and with QDB executives during the presentations that took place in the morning. “Our company operates in the oil and energy sector and there are many unconventional renewable energy projects in Qatar. There are good possibilities,” said the executive.

*Translated by Sérgio Kakitani