Brazil-Arab Countries Economic Forum concludes on high note

  • Environmental sustainability takes center stage during last day of Forum
  • Attendees address pressing issues and new agreements signed on final day
  • 10,000 viewers from 61 countries watch event’s 20 hours of live streams
Rubens Hannun, President,
Arab Brazilian Chamber of Commerce

The virtual Brazil-Arab Countries Economic Forum hosted by the Arab-Brazilian Chamber of Commerce (ABCC) ended on a high note recently, with more pressing issues tackled, new agreements signed, and a new project launched.

During the final day’s in-depth discussions, experts spoke on the theme ‘Environmental, social and corporate governance: Relevance in the current situation’ in which they examined the advantages and benefits of following the criteria of sustainability, social and corporate governance to keep pace with the fast-changing market conditions. The attendees also explored how halal principles fit into those criteria. 

Among the top Brazilian and Arab authorities who joined the dialogues were Khaled Tash, Deputy Governor of Marketing and Communications of the Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority (SAGIA), and Omar Khan, Director of International Offices at the Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

Khaled Tash said: “The Kingdom has a growing population, and the administration is encouraging spending on healthcare, which has been the highest in all MENA region. Another key area for cooperation between our nations is the halal industry, in sectors such as food products, health and cosmetics.” Tash took the opportunity to emphasize the significance of keeping trade and investments going despite unprecedented global challenges, with the Saudi official citing some key priority industries where mutually supportive collaboration could be established.    

Omar Khan highlighted Dubai Chamber’s responsibility to lead the necessary changes within the local and regional business sectors and inspire its members with its own examples. “In the past, sustainability was at the border of the companies’ budgets. Now everything is connected. It’s not about saving the planet – it’s about saving humankind. As part of its contributions to the sustainability movement, the Dubai Chamber has created a seal to acknowledge the best sustainable practices of companies, as well as digitized 100 per cent of its services. Its digital transformation journey is in keeping with Dubai’s 2021 goal to completely eradicate the government’s use of paper”. He said during the economic forum’s ‘Discussion among Chambers’ gathering.  

Besides the exchange of ideas, expertise and experiences, the forum’s last day also saw the Arab Brazilian Chamber of Commerce unveiling its innovative Arab House project, a virtual space devoted to Arab culture and immigration. The project will initially be hosted online but it will eventually have brick-and-mortar facilities. 

During the last day, the ABCC also officially became a member of the United Nations Global Compact, reflecting its relentless commitment to adopt sustainable and socially responsible policies. 

Further, the Chamber took the opportunity to join forces with two prestigious regional institutions after remotely signing an agreement with the Egyptian Exporters Association (Expolink) and training center Halal Institute separately. 

Rubens Hannun, President, Arab Brazilian Chamber of Commerce said: “We are overwhelmed by the outcome of the economic forum. During the event, we reached 61 countries from across all five continents. It was a momentous virtual gathering that allowed all participants from different parts of the world to explore the Arab-Brazilian alliance, which has also been transformed by the pandemic.” 

“By convening key stakeholders, all of us were able to draw a road map to further strengthen our cooperation not only in the areas of trade, business and investment but also in terms of cultural relations. The forum also served as an opportunity to find ways to build more resilient and future-ready mechanisms and systems that can withstand any emergency or crisis. It was a step closer to our goal of fulfilling our common goals and objectives as we continue to work towards bringing our relations to new heights,” he added. 

The event recorded 10,000 viewers throughout its 20 hours of live streams in three different languages. In addition to discussion panels, it held a 3D exhibition featuring Arab and Brazilian enterprises that got 2,300 visitors. The forum also resulted in hundreds of scheduled virtual meetings.