Pernambuco logistics offers opportunities

20 de outubro de 2017

Recife – Pernambuco has investment and business opportunities in the logistics area to offer and the delegation of Arab and African ambassadors that is visiting the state got to know some of them on Friday (20).

The group visited the Shipyard Atlântico Sul (South Atlantic), which is in search of new clients to its ships, including abroad, and was welcomed by authorities at the Suape port, which will open a bidding round for two terminals in 2018. The shipyard is located at the Suape industrial port complex.

The Shipyard Atlântico Sul is currently working on an order of five Aframax ships, to be delivered to Petrobras until 2019, but it also has the capacity to take new orders, according to information from the Engineer and Sales manager, Michel Pacheco de Andrade.

The ships currently in production have built-in tanks for the transportation of oil, according to information given to the delegation. The first one is expected to be delivered in February of next year and the rest will be delivered in four-month intervals, according to Andrade.

The shipyard already manufactured two rigs and other ten ships called Suezmax, also to Petrobras. The last Suezmax ship was delivered a few days ago. According to Andrade, the search for new clients began over one year ago and has been focusing mainly of Brazilian companies, even though the ships are used in operations abroad.

The Shipyard Atlântico Sul employs domestic capital and believes in the potential of the Middle East and Africa market for the ships. “We have a strategic position to attend Africa,” said Andrade, due to the proximity of Pernambuco and Africa coastlines.

The ambassadors watched a presentation about the shipyard given by the operations manager Anselmo Passos, and then got to know the facilities of the company and the stages of production. Later, the group was welcomed by the president of the Suape port, Marcos Baptista, and watched a presentation about the port given by the director of port management, Paulo Coimbra.

Suape has four projects that could be the subject of investments and they were presented to the diplomats. Two of them – one of a new container terminal and the transference of a vehicle terminal for a third-party to operate – will be offered in a bidding round next year, according to Baptista.

The container terminal will have to be built by the investor, who will operate it. The vehicle terminal is already done and will only need improvements to begin to be explored by the investor. According to information by Baptista, the biddings will be opened to foreigners. He says that Dubai Ports, manager of the UAE port area, is interested.

In addition to these two projects, the Suape port plans to attract investors for the implementation of a solid bulk and ores terminal and of a terminal for the regasification of liquefied natural gas (LNG). The latter allows for the gas to be imported by ships, in its liquid form, to be turned again to its gaseous form and used in the Brazilian market.

Baptista showed a willingness to increase trade with Arabs and Africans via Suape. According to him, from the 22 million tons of cargo handled last year, only 800,000 were done with ports from the two regions. “We have a long way to go, but we are taking the first steps,” he said to the ambassadors.

Currently, most of the goods that leave Suape to Africa go through Las Palmas Port, Canary Islands. The ambassadors expressed their wish to have direct routes.

In Pernambuco

The visit to the Suape port and to the Shipyard Atlântico Sul was one of the last activities of the mission of diplomats in Pernambuco. On Thursday, they were welcomed by the state’s governor Paulo Câmara (PSB) and by the deputy mayor of Recife Luciano Siqueira (PCdoB) and met with the authorities of the Pernambuco Tourism Company (Empetur) and the Pernambuco Economic Development Agency (ADDiper).

Also on Thursday, the group met with local business owners and attended a dinner offered by the Arab Brazilian Chamber of Commerce. The Chamber is one of the organizers of the mission to Pernambuco, along the embassies. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Itamaraty) also supports and takes part in the activities.

It was the first time that Arab and African diplomats held a joint mission to a Brazilian state. The CEO of the Arab Chamber, Michel Alaby, assessed as positive the participation of both regions and said that the missions are important to show Brazil’s potential to the ambassadors.

Itamaraty’s third secretary for the Levant Division, João Soares Neto, said that the trip was important to show to the diplomats that Brazil’s potential is not restricted to the business axis Center-South. “All the infrastructure that they got to know here was important for they to have a more complete image of the country,” he said, highlighting the concrete possibilities that this type of action produces.

The dean of the Council of African Ambassadors, the ambassador of Cameroon, Martin Agbor Mbeng, pointed out the possibility of knowing the opportunities for the exchange between Pernambuco and the Arab and African countries in the mission and said that it was important to see what can be done jointly and later translate this in concrete actions. “Brazil, Africa and Arab countries have a lot in common,” said the diplomat.

Qatar’s ambassador, Mohammed Al-Hayki, said that the meetings were important to intensify trade relations with Pernambuco and also highlighted the talks around the possibilities offered by the proximity between Pernambuco and Africa. “We are very optimistic,” he said on the future of the relations.

Diplomats from Palestine, Qatar, Libya, Jordan, Algeria, Egypt, Iraq, Mauritania, Tunisia, Sudan, League of Arab States, Cameroon, Angola, Botswana, Cape Verde, Ethiopia, Gabon, Malawi, Senegal, Tanzania, Togo, South Africa and Benin took part in the mission.

*Translated by Sérgio Kakitani