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15/05/2017 - 13:33hs

Brazilian executives discuss investment projects in Kuwait

A delegation led by the Brazilian minister of Agriculture, Blairo Maggi, discussed business opportunities in the Arab country’s chamber of commerce.

Kuwait City – Brazilian executives on a business trip to the Gulf led by Agriculture minister Blairo Maggi discussed this Monday (15) projects in Brazil with prospective investors at the Kuwait Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI), in the Arab country’s capital. “These are executives who intend to expand into Kuwait or find partners here,” Maggi told KCCI vice chairman Abdul Wahab Al Wazzan.

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Maggi gave an overview of the Brazilian agribusiness industry

The minister delivered a comprehensive presentation on Brazil’s agribusiness industry. He said the country is the world’s biggest sugar, coffee and orange juice producer, the second biggest soy and beef producer, the third maize and poultry producer, and the fourth wood pulp producer; when it comes to exports, Brazil ranks first for sugar, coffee, poultry and pulp, second for maize, and third for beef.

Kuwait and other Gulf countries import much of their food needs, and they are seeking opportunities to invest in agriculture and livestock in other countries to ensure their own markets are supplied. “We need Brazilian products in the Kuwaiti market,” KCCI’s vice chairman said.

The meeting was attended by delegates from five companies that deal in poultry, Brazil’s top-selling product to Kuwait: Adriano Zerbini of BRF, the parent company of brands Sadia and Perdigão, Ana Carolina Ferrari of Granja Barufi in São Paulo, Marcelo Bossa of JBS’ Seara brand, Nestor Freiberger of Agrosul and Associação Gaúcha de Avicultura (Asgav, the Rio Grande do Sul State Poultry Farming Association), and Inácio Moreira Netto of Agência de Negócios do Estado do Acre (Acre State Business Agency), representing Acre Aves.

Ferrari, for one, is looking for investors to fund an expansion of production of Granja Barufi. Moreira Netto is seeking partners to “join industrial ventures in the animal protein production chain” including poultry, beef, sheep and fish. “Our goal is to attract working capital into the market,” he said.

Janine Menezes of fish farming enterprise Biofish invited the Kuwaitis to see projects in Brazil first-hand for potential investments. “We work with the entire Amazon fish production chain,” she said. “Demand for this product in the world far outstrips availability,” she added.

AgroExport, represented by Silvio Cunha Neto, exports cattle, and Kuwait is interested in importing livestock. The company has shipped roughly 1 million head of cattle since its inception in 1988.

AgrinvestBR director Leonardo Einsfeld said his company “works on finding investors and creating opportunities in Brazilian agribusiness.” The enterprise is active in industries including sugar, meat packing, soy milling, etc.

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Rubens Hannun (C) invited Kuwaitis to see projects in Brazil

José Cláudio Balducci of Amazonly hopes to find investors for a fruit processing project in Amapá, Brazil. “It is a financially viable, socially just, environmentally responsible project,” he stressed. The plan is to build a plant with capacity to process 80 tons of açaí and 40 tons of other Amazon fruit per day.

Jaílson Macedo of Itaqui Port, in Brazil’s Maranhão state, went over the services provided by the seaport in shipping out agricultural production. Also in attendance were delegates from halal certifier bodies: Mohamed Zoghbi, chairman of the Federation of Muslim Associations in Brazil (Fambras), and Ali Ahmad Saifi, vice president of Cdial Halal. The term ‘halal’ refers to production of food and other goods in accordance with Islamic traditions.

“This one-on-one contact makes doing business easier,” the KCCI vice chairman remarked. Brazil’s ambassador in Kuwait, Norton Rapesta, suggested that other business trips by Kuwaitis to Brazil and vice versa be organized.

The president of the Arab Brazilian Chamber of Commerce, Rubens Hannun, invited the Kuwaiti executives to travel to Brazil “to see up close the activities” discussed by the Brazilian executives. “The Arab Chamber is here to build channels between Brazil and Kuwait,” he said.

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Maggi accepts a present from Al Wazzan

“We wish to constantly strengthen our ties with the Arab Brazilian Chamber,” said Al Wazzan of KCCI. “Inshallah (God willing) we will have a trip to Brazil,” he added.

The CEO of the Arab Brazilian Chamber, Michel Alaby, presented a video on the organization and on Brazil’s agribusiness industry.

Projects in Kuwait

The Kuwaitis took the opportunity to present investment opportunities in their country to the Brazilian executives. A delegate of the state-run Kuwait Direct Investment Promotion Authority (KDIPA), Mohammad Yousef Yaqoub, said the Kuwaiti national development plan is intended to funnel EUR 110 billion worth of investment by 2035. “More than simply increasing capital, we wish to attract technologies and know-how and create jobs,” he said.

He also said Kuwait boasts the world’s 6th largest oil reserves, and that it offers several advantages to foreign investors, such as ten-year tax exemption, customs duties exemption, ease in obtaining land, free transit of capitals, and guaranteed 100% business ownership rights.

According to him, since KDIPA’s inception in 2013, 188 projects were approved, EUR 1.96 billion worth of investments were made, and 1,035 jobs were created.

*Translated by Gabriel Pomerancblum

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