The Council of Saudi Chambers (CSC) launched the Saudi-Brazilian Business Forum on Wednesday, October 30, at its premises in Riyadh with attendance of HE President of the Federative Republic of Brazil Jair Bolsonaro, whom also gave a keynote address.
Participants included Minister of Commerce and Investment Dr. Majid Al Qasabi, Chief of Staff of the Presidency Onyx Lorenzoni, Minister of Foreign Affairs Ernesto Araujo, CEO of Saudi Center for International Strategic Partnerships Dr. Faisal Al Sugair, Head of Tourism Agency Gilson Neto, and CSC Vice Chairperson Abdullah Al Adeem.
More than 250 officials and executives from both countries attended the forum, including Minister of Environment, Water and Agriculture Eng. Abdulrahman Al Fadhli, Saudi Ambassador to Brazil Ali Bahaitham, and Brazil Ambassador to Saudi Arabia Marcelo Della Nina.
President Bolsonaro commended during his address the Saudi leadership on its efforts and vision in leading the country, expressing his genuine delight to be in the Kingdom, and adding that Brazil and Saudi Arabia share a mutual vision in realizing a prosperous life for their nations. He urged concerned parties in both countries to work together in utilizing resources and potentials and diversifying their ventures for the benefit of the two nations.
“Brazil is embarking on a new era. There are plenty of opportunities to utilize by both sides.” the President added, praising on the same note the efforts of CSC and the Saudi business community in organizing the forum, and noting the generous reception with which the Brazilian delegation was met in the Kingdom.
For his part, Dr. Al Qasabi stated that Saudi Arabia and Brazil share a mutual vision towards transformation, noting that President Bolsonaro’s visit will signify a shift in bilateral relations. The Minister of Commerce and Investment promised that a Saudi delegation will be heading to Brazil to explore its potentials, adding that it is part of the Saudi Vision 2030 as orchestrated by HRH Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. The Saudi Minister highlighted developments in the Kingdom’s investment environment, including its recent achievement of topping the Doing Business 2020 report regarding economic reforms, as well as advancing to the 38th spot in the Starting a Business indicator.
Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ernesto Araujo, noted the advanced relations between the two countries, urging both sides to take advantage of their governments’ support to elevate these relations. He added that Brazil now is more open to foreign partnerships and allows the private sector a bigger role in the economic development process, encouraging Saudi investors to explore these potentials, and promising to facilitate any obstacles in this regard.
Chief of Staff Onyx Lorenzoni reiterated the progress and reforms under the presidency of Mr. Bolsonaro, adding that there are various opportunities for Saudi investors to explore, particularly in energy, transportation and railroads, which are a gateway to Latin America.
CEO of Saudi Center for International Strategic Partnerships Dr. Faisal Al Sugair called the business forum, which coincided with the Brazilian President’s visit to the Kingdom, a unique opportunity to shed light on unexplored territories in both markets, adding that the shared vision of the two friendly countries must be translated into tangible results through cooperation between their business communities.
CSC Vice Chairperson Abdullah Al Adeem commended, for his part, the developments in Saudi-Brazilian relations, emphasizing that the President’s visit is significant moving forward. He highlighted the 8.6% trade growth in 2018 reaching SAR 17.6 bn. He added that the Kingdom seeks through the Saudi Vision 2030 to be open to global markets, including Brazil’s, and to create strategic partnerships worldwide. He cited the forum as an opportunity to elevate relations and benefit the two nations and their respective business communities.
Head of Tourism Agency Gilson Neto touched on the vast opportunities in Brazil’s tourism sector, inviting Saudi investors to utilize them and to take advantage of the recently introduced reforms, including incentives for foreign investments. He revealed that the two countries are currently discussing visa exemptions to attract more Saudi tourists and investors.
Five MoUs were signed on the sidelines of the forum between: Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority (SAGIA) and the Brazilian Trade and Investment Promotion Agency, SAGIA and the Arab Brazilian Chamber of Commerce, Industrial Clusters and the Arab Brazilian Chamber of Commerce, Saudi Fund for Development and the Brazilian Development Bank, and Arab News & the Brazil-Arab News Agency.
The Saudi-Brazilian Business Forum included a presentation by SAGIA entitled “Invest Saudi” which shed light on opportunities in the Kingdom, and two presentations by the Brazilian side, which touched on the Investment Partnerships Program and the energy and mining sector in Brazil.