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28/04/2017 - 00:38hs

Rio Grande do Sul to promote trade and investments in the UAE

The state government plans to organize events in the country in June. The information was made public during a meeting between the Council of Arab Ambassadors in Brazil and governor Ivo Sartori.

Alexandre Rocha/ANBA

Sartori (L) greets Alzeben

Porto Alegre – The Rio Grande do Sul government is planning to hold events in Abu Dhabi and Dubai, United Arab Emirates, in June to promote trade and investments in the state. The information was made public during a meeting between governor Ivo Sartori and the Council of Arab Ambassadors in Brazil this Thursday (27) in Porto Alegre.

According to Fábio Branco, the secretary of Economic Development, Science and Technology of the state of Rio Grande do Sul, the idea is to hold two seminars in partnership with the Federation of Industries of Rio Grande do Sul (Fiergs), one focusing on trade promotion and the other on investment attraction.

In the first, a business delegation will go to the UAE to show the state’s products and talk business with local companies. The other includes a promotion focusing on investors and funds of public and private sector projects that need funding. “We want to display Rio Grande do Sul with its potentialities,” said Branco to ANBA.

The idea is to take advantage of a trip that the governor will take to Japan, with a stop in the UAE, to do the mission. “The UAE is a strategic country to us, to better promote the state and attract investments,” pointed out the secretary.

Alexandre Rocha/ANBA

Diplomats were welcomed at Palácio Piratini

In the meeting with 13 Arab diplomats and executives from the Arab Brazilian Chamber of Commerce, Sartori highlighted the importance of partnerships. “Partnerships are needed, we don’t do everything by ourselves,” he said. “New initiatives and projects arise from good relations,” he added.

Ibrahim Alzeben, the dean of the Council and ambassador of Palestine, said that this is the third visit that the body makes to the state. “We have deep roots in this state,” he said.

Branco presented to the diplomats the state’s main economic and demographic indicators and highlighted that the local development plan is based on the following pillars: automotive and auto parts industry, renewable energies, advanced healthcare, agroindustry, information technology, defense and security, ocean industries (naval, oil) and startups.

Osmar Chohfi, the Arab Chamber’s vice-president of International Relations, said that Rio Grande do Sul accounts for from 10% to 12% of Brazil’s trade with Arab countries and that in 2016 this trade totaled USD 2 billion. “And it is a diversified trade, with a significant participation of higher added value products”, he pointed out. “We know the effort of your government in increasing the state’s exports,” he added.

He also said that the Arab world “is an important source of foreign investments.” “With clear norms and legal security, investors certainly will get interested in investing in Brazil and Rio Grande do Sul,” he said.

Michel Alaby, the Arab Chamber’s CEO, added that there are Arab countries that also need to attract investments.

To ANBA, the governor said that the presence of diplomats and the Arab Chamber in Rio Grande do Sul shows the good configuration of exports, imports and cultural exchange between the state and the Arab countries and that this relation has the requirements to “grow more and more” and to be “far better.”

Alexandre Rocha/ANBA

Ambassadors also visited the city hall


Alzeben said that Arab nations are interested in forging closer cultural ties with Rio Grande do Sul “so the state citizens can get to know better the multiculturalism of our region.” “To forge closer cultural ties opens doors to other areas for exchange,” he said.

Alzeben suggested the creation of an Arab cultural center in Porto Alegre, a proposal that he also made in a later meeting with the city’s acting mayor, Gustavo Paim. Victor Hugo, the state’s secretary of Culture, attended the meeting with the governor.

In city hall, in addition to proposing the creation of a cultural center, the dean suggested the signing of sister-cities agreements between Porto Alegre and Arab cities. “Porto Alegre is the equivalent to ‘Port Sayid’ in Egypt,” he joked. “Porto” means Port in English, and “Alegre” means “happy” or “joyous”, which is “sayid” in Arabic. “Culture is a great ambassador of peoples,” said the city’s secretary of Culture, Luciano Alabarse.

Alexandre Rocha/ANBA

The acting mayor met with the diplomats

Paim, the acting mayor, said that city government is trying to implement development projects through partnerships, underscoring that the city, the state and the country are going through a difficult situation from a public finances perspective. “There must be creativity, generate alternatives, such as public-private partnerships and partnerships with other countries,” he told ANBA.

The city’s secretary of Economic Development, Ricardo Gomes, presented the city’s economic data and mentioned projects to which the city is looking for partners, such as the management of the public market, the construction of the administration’s new headquarters, the management of Presidente Vargas Children’s Hospital, initiatives in Education, among others.

Also with the delegation that is visiting Rio Grande do Sul are the ambassadors of Morocco, Nabil Adghoghi, of Iraq, Arshad Esmaeel, of Egypt, Alaaeldin Roushdy, of Libya, Khaled Dahan, of Kuwait, Ayadah Alsaidi, of Qatar, Mohammed Al Hayki, of Jordan, Malek Twal, of Algeria, Toufik Dahmani, of Sudan, Ahmed Elsiddig, of Mauritania, Wagen Abdoulaye, of Oman, Amad Al Abri, of the Arab League, Nacer Alem, and the business chargé d’affaires of Saudi Arabia, Soliman Al Aqeel.

*Translated by Sérgio Kakitani

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