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30/08/2017 - 17:51hs

City of Lins looks to become halal hub

The mayor visited the Arab Brazilian Chamber and presented a project to make the local airport into a halal-only facility, as well as to manufacture halal goods locally. The project will be presented in Dubai.

São Paulo – The mayor of Lins, São Paulo, Edgar de Souza (a member of party PSDB), hopes to make the city an international intermodal halal hub. He paid a visit to the offices of the Arab Brazilian Chamber of Commerce this Wednesday (30). He was welcomed by Government Relations manager Tamer Mansour and discussed his plans for the city.

Isaura Daniel/ANBA

Souza: seeking out Arab investors

Although Lins is home to a strong livestock industry, including halal beef production, the goal is to get halal certification for other goods produced in the city and around it, such as flowers, fruit and milk. In order to export these items, the city hall is planning to make the local airport into a halal cargo-only shipping facility.

Halal goods are goods whose production meets a number of requirements of Muslim religion. When it comes to beef, one such requirement is for animals to be slaughtered facing Mecca, the holy city of Islam, and that its blood be drained.

At the Arab Chamber, Souza went over prospective partnerships to roll out the project and discussed attending the Global Business Forum Latin America in Dubai, the UAE in February 2018. There, Souza will introduce the halal hub project to investors, as well as a tourism-oriented plan.

The Airport of Lins currently welcomes only business jet flights, but Souza intends to find investors in order to make the entire airport, or part of it, into a halal-only facility. According to the mayor, the plan is to ship out items made in places near Lins through the airport as well. The region is home to a strong sugar and ethanol manufacturing industry.

The airport will still be property of the municipality, but the City Hall is planning to hand over management to the private sector in a bid to attract investors. This should be done via a concession or a Public-Private Partnership (PPP), according to Souza. The mayor believes Arab funds or logistics operators could be interested. The plan will be explained in-depth in the UAE next year.

“Our idea is to find partners for the economic and social development of our city. It’s clear to us that social development can only happen through economic development, by building a business environment and bringing in investment,” Souza said in an interview with ANBA.

The mayor believes the city and its surroundings can become an intermodal halal hub due to logistical advantages that it has, not to mention the airport. The Tietê Paraná waterway cuts through the city, as do two major Brazilian highways – Marechal Rondon and Transbrasiliana –, a railway connecting the Port of Santos to Bolivia, and a gas pipeline. “All of this is available within a very short perimeter, therefore we are looking for partners to coax this multiplicity of transportation options into a great hub,” he said.

The city of Lins has a population of slightly over 80,000. Besides exporting to Arab countries, it intends to build closer ties with them. The mayor plans on entering into sister-city agreements with Arab cities. During the visit to the Arab Chamber, Souza invited its executives to go to Lins.

The city is located above the Guarani aquifer. There’s local hot springs resort, and the stretch of the Tietê River in Lins features fresh, sailable water. The mayor hopes to tap into foreign capital to create a tourist park and combine these attractions into one – the thermal waters and boating on the Tietê. He will advertise this project in Dubai.

Mayor Edgar de Souza visited the Arab Brazilian Chamber alongside a team of city representatives before moving on to other appointments in São Paulo. He had a meeting this Wednesday with executives from Emirates Airline.

Quick facts

Lins City Hall
Website: www.lins.sp.gov.br
Phone: +55 (14) 3533-4250

*Translated by Gabriel Pomerancblum

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