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.


E-visa service makes it easier than ever for Saudis to visit India

A plane is seen at the taxiway after landing at Kochi's International airport in the Indian state of Kerala on August 29, 2018. (AFP)
Updated 26 January 2020

E-visa service makes it easier than ever for Saudis to visit India

  • The cost of a one-year, multiple-entry tourist visa was reduced from $80 to $40, while a five year, multiple entry tourist visa costs $80

RIYADH: The introduction last year of an online “e-visa” service for Saudi nationals who want to visit India was an important development in the growing relationship between the nations.
The system, announced during a state visit by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to India in February last year, was launched on June 17.
It allows Saudi citizens to apply online for tourist, business, medical and conference visas. In addition, fees were reduced and longer-term visas were introduced.
A short duration, one-month visa for tourists, with double entry, costs $10 between April and June and $25 the rest of the year. The cost of a one-year, multiple-entry tourist visa was reduced from $80 to $40, while a five year, multiple entry tourist visa costs $80.
The other types of e-visa available to Saudi nationals, all of which cost $80, are: Business visa (valid for a year, multiple entry), conference visa (valid for 30 days, single entry), and medical visa and medical attendant visa (both of which are valid for 60 days, triple entry).

BACKGROUND

In addition to the e-visa system, traditional paper visas are still available from the Indian Embassy, and the time taken to process them for Saudi nationals has been reduced to two working days.

For more information about e-visas for Saudi citizens, and to apply for one, visit https://indianvisaonline.gov.in/evisa/tvoa.html. Applications must be made at least four days before the planned date of travel.
In addition to the e-visa system, traditional paper visas are still available from the Indian Embassy, and the time taken to process them for Saudi nationals has been reduced to two working days. Last year, 19,116 e-visas and 18,598 paper visas were issued to Saudis.