Bilateral relations between the UAE and South America are on the rise as official figures show Brazil exported almost $1 billion worth of goods to the UAE in the first five months of 2012, a rise of 47 per cent from the same period last year.
Statistics for the period of January to May saw $978 million of exports sent from the South American country to the UAE, in comparison to $665 million exported during the same five months in 2011.
The main exported products were sugars, meat and ores, accounting for more than 60 per cent of the goods.
Speaking to Gulf Business, Michel Alaby, director-general of the Arab Chamber, said: “Brazil has always kept a strong relationship with the UAE. Even during the world crisis in 2008, we observed a growth in the trade numbers between both countries.
“Nowadays the trade relationship between Brazil and the Arab countries put both regions in prominent ranking of importance. This trade relation is very concentrated in commodities.
“The commercial relations between Brazil and the Arab countries proved to be vibrant in 2011 and continues so in 2012.”
Brazilian exports to the wider Arab region reached $3.2 billion for Q1 2012, an increase of 3.33 per cent from the same period last year. Saudi Arabia heads the list as the main destination with $701 million of goods, with the UAE and Egypt close behind.
On the return route, exports from Arab countries to Brazil reached $2 billion for the first quarter of 2012, an 18 per cent increase compared to the same period in 2011.
Imports to Brazil from the UAE last year reached a total of $478.67 million, an increase of 170 per cent from 2010. The main products were fuels, salt and suplur.
Alaby puts the rapid increase in trade between the two countries, which has also been reflected in increasing tourism rates, down to more direct flights between the two, increased promotion of the other’s culture among TV shows and a rising number of Brazilian companies opening offices in the Gulf state.