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06/02/2018 - 07:00hs

Brazil-Egypt Business Council meets for the 1st time

Brazilian and Egyptian representatives met in Cairo. The council was created to discuss obstacles and business opportunities between both countries. Executives from the Arab Chamber attended the meeting.

São Paulo – The Brazil-Egypt Business Council met for the first time this Monday (5) in Cairo. The council, created to discuss obstacles and business opportunities between the two countries, was already assembled and was officially launched in December, when Egypt’s minister of Trade and Industry, Tarek Kabil, visited Brazil. The Brazilian and Egyptian parts, however, had not yet met face to face.

Press Release

Representatives of several Arab chambers of commerce met in Cairo

The Arab Brazilian Chamber of Commerce’s president, Rubens Hannun, CEO, Michel Alaby, and Special Projects Advisor, Tamer Mansour, attended the meeting. According to Hannun, some of Egypt’s main business owners are members of the council, such as Emad El Sewedy, the president of El Sewedy Electrometer, which produces energy meters. He’s the president of the council on the Egyptian side, with Hannun as his counterpart on the Brazilian side.

Also attending the meeting were representatives of Egypt’s Ministry of Trade and Industry, of Brazilian companies Marcopolo, of buses, and Camargo Corrêa, which owns a cement plant in Egypt, and the Brazilian ambassador in Cairo, Ruy Amaral.

According to Hannun, one of the main demands presented by the Egyptians is the reduction of time for the revocation of import tariffs of some Egyptian products included in the Mercosur-Egypt free trade agreement, which went into effect last year. Egypt will present a list of products that they want to see tariffs being revoked quicker, and the issue will again be discussed on a second meeting of the council, scheduled to take place in São Paulo at the beginning of April, simultaneously to the Brazil-Arab Countries Economic Forum, to be organized by the Arab Chamber.

To talk about the forum in São Paulo, executives of the Arab Chamber met with the president of the Union of Arab Chambers, Nael Al Kabariti. The Union is a co-organizer of the event. “He’s a very important person for the trade with Arab countries,” said Hannun. The Union gathers all the chambers of commerce of the Arab countries and also the so-called “joint chambers”, such as the Arab Brazilian Chamber of Commerce.

The forum was also the topic of meetings with representatives of the Cairo Chamber of Commerce, of Egypt’s Ministry of Investments, and of the Arab League. “It seems we will have many delegations in the forum,” said Hannun. Egyptians wish to, for instance, promote their new legislation on investments in Brazil.

New capital

Press Release

Alaby and Hannun (seated, left of the flag) visited the Arab League

On the weekend, Hannun, Alaby and Mansour attended the third edition of the Egypt Investment Forum, in Cairo. According to the Arab Chamber’s president, one of the most discussed topics was the construction of the country’s new administrative capital, near Cairo. “They talked a great deal about the importance of the new capital and the speed in which it’s being built,” he said.

As ANBA reported last week, the president of the state agency responsible for the construction, Ahmad Zaki Abdeen, said that many government bodies will be relocated to the new facilities in 18 months. The project was announced in 2015, with an estimated cost of USD 45 billion. “This venture brings many investments and the Egyptians need them,” said Hannun.

Egyptians are also very interested in using to the maximum the agreement with Mercosur. This Tuesday, the Ministry of Trade and Industry of the country organizes, in Cairo, a seminar on the topic, which will have Michel Alaby as a speaker. “This is a result of the seminar on the agreement that we organized at the Arab Chamber in December [in São Paulo],” said Hannun. The event was attended by the Egyptian ministry. “They wish to discuss with business owners the potential and opportunities created by the agreement,” he concluded.

*Translated by Sérgio Kakitani

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