Brazilian agriculture minister hails multibillion-dollar trade bond with Saudi Arabia

Delegates gather on Tuesday during the opening of the Saudi-Brazilian Agricultural Business Forum at CSC in Riyadh. (AN photo/Ahmed Fathi)
Updated 18 September 2019

Brazilian agriculture minister hails multibillion-dollar trade bond with Saudi Arabia

  • Around 96 percent of total Saudi exports to Brazil were in crude oil and other items including fertilizers

RIYADH: Brazil’s agriculture minister on Tuesday hailed the multibillion-dollar trade bond between her country and Saudi Arabia and vowed to explore new export opportunities.

During a visit to Riyadh as part of a tour of Arab states, Tereza Cristina, the Brazilian minister of agriculture, livestock and supply, pledged to further boost economic relations with the Kingdom.

Speaking to Arab News at the Saudi-Brazilian Agricultural Business Forum held at the Council of Saudi Chambers (CSC), Cristina said the Kingdom was a major economic partner for Brazil in the Middle East, especially in the agricultural sector, and stressed the need to diversify opportunities.

“This is my first visit to the Kingdom. There is a long relationship between the two countries and enhancing relations in trade is important.”

According to Cristina, Saudi Arabia was the seventh-biggest importer of Brazilian agricultural products. “We can diversify our exports to the Kingdom, limited not only to meat, beef, poultry, and sugar but also other products,” she added.

The minister said that during her visit her country had agreed with Saudi authorities to first-time exports of Brazilian nuts, several fruits, and egg products.

“I am here to speak with the Saudi authorities about the new government in Brazil led by President Jair Bolsonaro, how the new system is working and what we can offer in very frank, honest and transparent relations between the two countries.”

She pointed out that Bolsonaro would be visiting Saudi Arabia for the Future Investment Initiative (FII 2019) forum being held in Riyadh in October.

FASTFACTS

• Bilateral trade between Brazil and Saudi Arabia had reached $2.95 billion (SR11.07 billion) by the end of August 2019.

• Brazil’s top 10 product groups of exports to the Kingdom were poultry, sugar, oil seeds and derivatives, beef, armaments, cereals, ores, wood and steel products and machinery.

Bilateral trade between Brazil and Saudi Arabia had reached $2.95 billion (SR11.07 billion) by the end of August 2019, she said, around a 2 percent increase on the same period in 2018, valued at $2.89 billion. Brazilian exports made up $1.35 billion of the figure with Saudi sales to Brazil hitting $1.6 billion.

Brazil’s top 10 product groups of exports to the Kingdom were poultry, sugar, oil seeds and derivatives, beef, armaments, cereals, ores, wood and steel products, and machinery.

Around 96 percent of total Saudi exports to Brazil were in crude oil. Other items during 2018 were fertilizers, plastic and aluminum products, and chemicals.

According to the Brazilian embassy, the South American country’s agricultural and livestock sector products represented 84 percent ($1.76 billion) of the total value of its exports to Saudi in 2018.

Addressing the agricultural forum, which was also attended by Khaled Al-Aboudi, managing director of the Saudi Agricultural and Livestock Investment Co. (SALIC), Christina pointed to possible future export openings for products such as dairy and fresh fruit.

While the Kingdom sought to achieve food security, Brazil had many opportunities in the agricultural field, she added.




Brazil’s Minister of Agriculture, Livestock and Supply Tereza Cristina at the Saudi-Brazilian Agricultural Business Forum in Riyadh. (AN photo/Ahmed Fathi)

Al-Aboudi said that he was looking forward to further cooperation between the two countries in the agriculture, food and livestock sectors. He added that the meeting offered the chance to strengthen economic ties through developing joint investments and exchanging information on investment opportunities.

Saudi Arabia was the second stop on the minister’s tour of Arab countries which began in Egypt and will take in Kuwait and the UAE.

In Riyadh, Cristina also held a meeting with the Saudi Vice Minister of Environment, Water and Agriculture Mansour H. Al-Mushaiti and was told that the Kingdom needed fodder for animal feed, which Brazil could supply.

She also met with the Saudi Food and Drug Authority CEO Hisham bin Saad Al-Jadhey and discussed issues of mutual interest.

On the fires that have been raging in Brazil’s Amazon rainforest, Cristina told Arab News: “Yes, there is a problem, but the whole issue has been widely exaggerated and blown out of proportion. It’s a very complex issue and the Brazilian government is taking measures to control it and address the problems.

“Right now, it is a dry season in the Amazon region, which is a season when we see fire incident naturally,” she added.


Saudi Health Minister: No coronavirus cases in the Kingdom

Updated 26 January 2020

Saudi Health Minister: No coronavirus cases in the Kingdom

  • The Kingdom took measures to limit the spread of the virus

DUBAI: The Saudi Minister of Health, Tawfiq Al-Rabiah confirmed that several precautionary measures had been implemented to address the new coronavirus.

The ministry has increased monitoring and control procedures for flights coming directly from China.

Passengers coming from China through indirect flights are being contained and having their vitals inspected in coordination with the Civil Aviation Authority.

“No cases of infection with the new coronavirus have been recorded in the Kingdom yet,” he added, explaining that coronavirus was an airborne virus transmitted by coughing.

The National Center for Disease Prevention and Control (NCDC) has prepared a health guide to deal with suspected cases. The NCDC provided laboratory tests, set up the mechanism for collecting and transferring sample to NCDC’s national laboratory and issued advice to passengers going to areas where the disease has appeared.

The ministry’s Command and Control Center took precautionary measures as soon as the virus was discovered in China, the minister said.

The ministry has also implemented the international health regulations and coordinated with the relevant authorities to deal with this situation and address it.

The precautionary measures included closely monitoring the epidemiological situation with the World Health Organization (WHO) and other available sources and coordinating with the Civil Aviation Authority in assessing the direct and indirect traffic from and to China in order to provide information for people planning to visit affected areas, monitor those arriving from them, implement the health assessment at entry points and follow up on them to ensure their safety,” Al-Rabiah pointed out.

The Command and Control center had previously explained that the common symptoms of infection are acute respiratory ones such as fever, coughing, shortness of breath and difficulty breathing. In more severe cases, it can cause pneumonia or acute respiratory distress syndrome.