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30/08/2016 - 17:23hs

Technology can cut foreign trade processing times

At the University of São Paulo, specialists championed the use of technology for faster exports processing in Brazil, particularly for agribusiness. The Arab Chamber’s CEO Michel Alaby explained the organization’s work.

São Paulo – The use of technology in certification, tracking, and cargo clearance procedures can significantly save time and money when it comes to exports of goods from Brazil, especially for the agribusiness industry. The subject was addressed this Tuesday (30) by specialists during the seminar Application of the Internet of Things in Agribusiness, Healthcare and Industry, at the University of São Paulo (USP), in the eponymous city.

Aurea Santos/ANBA

Alaby: online registration for Egypt and other Arab countries

Michel Alaby, the CEO of the Arab Brazilian Chamber of Commerce, went over the online registration process currently under implementation by the Egyptian government and the Chamber. Brazilian exporters looking to sell to the Arab country will now need to fill out a form and certify it with the Arab Chamber.

“The papers are certified online, translated into Arabic, and then electronically forwarded to Egypt’s General Organization for Export and Import and Control (GOEIC), which in turn checks the documentation and submits it to the ports, also online. By the time the ship has docked, the papers and the cargo will be all but cleared,” the CEO explained.

Alaby stressed that Egypt is the first country to see such a partnership, which should be extended to other Arab nations soon.

“We are rolling out this process with Egypt first. Next, we will work with Saudi Arabia, and by early next year we’ll try it out with the UAE, whose Jebel Ali port takes in virtually all Gulf-bound cargo, and where ships come in in the morning and leave by night. I mean, a ship stays for no longer than 24 hours. Theirs is a highly computer-based process, and all it takes is for us to get there and establish a criterion [for the registration process],” he said.

Egypt is one of the leading importers of Brazilian beef. From January through July, it purchased USD 399 million worth of the product.

Fernando Sampaio, the CEO of the Brazilian Beef Exporters Association (Abiec), said the Brazilian beef industry is worth BRL 483 billion, considering all stages from production to distribution to end consumers. At the event, he pointed out that innovation is the basis for the industry’s success.

“We’ve come to this point thanks to much innovation, at the farms and the meat packing industry, and we must keep betting on innovation if we are to remain at the cutting edge. We’re talking innovation in meat packing plants automation, in using robots where work conditions are insalubrious today. There’s a lot to be done in connecting this entire production chain,” he pondered.

Flávio Scorza, the director of the Foreign Trade Competitiveness Department at the Brazilian Ministry of Industry, Foreign Trade and Services, stressed how important it is for Brazil to keep up with the technological advances in foreign trade, so that Brazil will not lag farther and farther behind the developed nations.

“Cooperation between the government and the private sector is crucial so that elements of the internet 4.0 can be incorporated into the Brazilian economy.” The internet 4.0 concept is the idea of integrating technology into various sectors of society, such as healthcare, education, industry, etc.

One of the major strides Brazil is taking towards that is the so-called Canal Azul (Portuguese for Blue Channel), developed by USP’s Industrial Systems Electric Automation Group (Grupo de Automação Elétrica em Sistemas Industriais - GAESI), under the coordination of professor Eduardo Mário Dias, one of the seminar’s organizers.

Canal Azul is an online export/import process for agricultural products. One of its purposes is to overhaul government control of exportations, and save up 72 hours of exporters’ time by resorting to digital processing of cargo shipping papers at Brazilian ports.

A message from the Brazilian Development minister Marcos Pereira was read by an official, whereby he stressed that Canal Azul can reduce by up to 15 days the time a container has to sit still before it gets shipped to its destination.

*Translated by Gabriel Pomerancblum

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