Closing bell: Saudi Arabia’s main index slips to close at 11,478 

SAO PAULO: The Federation of Saudi Chambers wants to establish an office in Sao Paulo, its assistant secretary-general has said.

Waleed Al-Orainan visited the Arab Brazilian Chamber of Commerce on Tuesday in Sao Paulo, where he will stay for a few more days before returning to Riyadh.

Mishal bin Hithlain, chairman of the Saudi Brazilian Business Council, was also on the visit, and said the Kingdom is working to establish the office as soon as possible.

The Kingdom’s trade attache in Washington, Reem Al-Tharwa, was part of the delegation, along with Abdulrahim Al-Muaibid, relations manager for the Americas and director of the council; council member Abdulmalik Al-Qahtani; and Omar Al-Mughamis, representing the Saudi Authority for Foreign Trade.

Bin Hithlain said the Kingdom wants more Brazilian companies to establish themselves there, as Saudi Arabia is the largest economy in the Middle East.

He added that it is important for both countries’ private sector to interact more and learn about each other’s business cultures.

Al-Orainan said partnerships in tourism, oil and gas, and food security are possibilities. “We’re very interested in promoting cooperation,” he added.

“If you want to do business with Saudi Arabia, you have to go there to see the great transformations that have been taking place,” he said.

“Our ambition is what drives us, what gets us up in the morning,” he said, adding that Saudi unemployment has dropped from 13 percent to 8 percent, and that the Kingdom has a young and energetic population, as well as giga-projects in different areas and sectors such as NEOM, The Line and Qiddiya, which provide numerous business opportunities.

Giga-projects are part of the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 plan for economic diversification, and the tourism sector is being heavily invested in.

The FSC delegation said it wants to increase the number of visits of businesspeople between the countries through trade missions.

“Our mission is to help and facilitate visits. We invite you to visit Saudi Arabia with a business delegation, and we can work together to make an agenda for business meetings. We’re the umbrella representing our private sector,” said Al-Orainan.

“We’re interested in developing this relationship without limits, and we believe it will be a strategic partnership for the federation.”

Al-Orainan and Bin Hithlain suggested activities, such as lectures and seminars, to raise awareness about how to do business in both countries.

The Saudis were welcomed by Arab Brazilian Chamber of Commerce President Osmar Chohfi, its institutional relations director Fernanda Baltazar, and director Mohamad Abdouni.

Chohfi has already been to Riyadh, and said next time he wants to visit Jeddah. “We should promote a direct flight (between Sao Paulo and Riyadh) by a Saudi airline,” he added.

They also discussed business opportunities for Brazilian entrepreneurs in the huge halal market, not only with regard to food and beverages but also tourism, fashion, cosmetics and pharmaceuticals.

Sustainability was another topic discussed at the meeting. Baltazar said both countries could create a joint agenda, considering that COP28 will take place in Dubai later this year, so that participating Brazilian companies can visit Saudi Arabia afterward.