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SAO PAULO: The LIDE business group, leading a Brazilian private sector delegation, has signed a memorandum of understanding with the UAE International Investors Council to combine efforts to boost investments in both countries.

LIDE UAE President Rodrigo Paiva and UAEIIC Chairman Mohamed Al-Rais signed the MoU at the Brazil Emirates Conference, which gathered businesspeople and authorities from both countries in Dubai to discuss bilateral economic opportunities.

“It’s a very important MoU not only for LIDE UAE but for the entire global LIDE network because the UAEIIC encompasses several funds, and now LIDE members will be able to have direct access to the assets and cooperate more directly with funds that invest in different sectors of the economy, both in Brazil and the UAE,” Paiva told Arab News.

“It’s an important stage for LIDE UAE to diversify the economy and develop more bilateral business between the countries.”

At the conference, the deputy secretary of the UAE’s Economy Ministry, Juma Al-Kait, said the “alliance” between the two countries “is entering an exciting new phase,” referring to the UAE’s entry into the BRICs bloc of developing economies and Brazil’s invitation to participate in the G20. 

“We can explore more possibilities for this mutual partnership of our economies. This shows great opportunity for the private sector,” he said.

“Brazil is a strategic hub and access point for South America. We believe we can support more forms of trade between us.”

At the conference, Saleh Lootah, president of UAE Food and Beverage, said Brazil’s potential lies in its food production capacity and its role in helping to resolve food security challenges in the Gulf region. 

“I believe that Brazil has great potential to become a major player in the food sector,” he said. “Brazil has a role in helping the world fight food security challenges … Food security is an issue for us in the UAE. When we were hit by the pandemic, it was a challenge as part of the region imports food. This shows how much we need to find solutions to this problem.”

LIDE President Joao Doria Neto told Arab News: “On this visit to Dubai, we can see that the UAE understands Brazil as a power nation for food security, not only in the region but also in the world, which provides us with countless possibilities for business and growth in this segment.

“Therefore, we believe in these opportunities for expansion in food trade to the Gulf region, with more product diversity and exchange of knowledge and innovation, which Brazilian agriculture performs so well.” 

However, Martim Di Giacomo, chief operating officer of Minerva Foods, said: “Logistics is a problem. We have more than 40 days of transit between Brazil and the UAE, while other competing countries arrive in two weeks.”

Other topics at the conference were technology, energy, infrastructure and artificial intelligence.

Paiva said LIDE’s first major event in Dubai marks a new chapter in the Brazil-UAE business relationship.

“We have similar ways of doing business, so let us use the opportunities and dialogue so that it’s beneficial for both countries,” he said, adding that the delegation’s visit to the UAE was “very positive.”

Paiva said: “Large companies were present on this mission and are interested in strengthening this relationship to seek investments, to invest in Brazil, to invest here.”

He added: “They made connections, new friendships, and obviously people are already reaping the rewards, opening partnerships, gaining customers. It was really good.”

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