Brazil wants more trade, investment with Arab countries, says official

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An agricultural worker drives a tractor spreading fertilizer in a soybean field, near Brasilia, Brazil February 15, 2022. REUTERS/Adriano Machado/File Photo

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BRASILIA, July 4 (Reuters) - Brazil wants to expand trade and investment with Arab countries, said a government official on Monday, amid ongoing talks for commercial agreements with Saudi Arabia, Lebanon and the United Arab Emirates.

Speaking at the Brazil and Arab Countries Economic Forum, the secretary of foreign trade at the Economy Ministry, Lucas Ferraz, said closer relations are a high priority for Brazil and something that has great potential as the country seeks to boost the variety of goods it sells and buys abroad.

Brazil's biggest trade partner is China, although the South American nation boasts strong trade ties with Arab and other non-Arab nations in the Middle East, such as Iran, where Brazil exports food and grains.

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After years of developing these trade relationships, Brazil has become the world's top supplier of "halal" meat, which is produced according to Muslim dietary requirements. read more

According to Ferraz, Brazil has already concluded an investment facilitation agreement with Morocco and has a free trade agreement with Egypt. He noted both countries have played an "important role" in supplying Brazil with fertilizers this year as sanctions against Belarus and Russia have caused a global shortage.

The official also highlighted that, while the world is focused on reconfiguring global production chains, Brazil is already selling more agricultural commodities and further aims to diversify what it exports to the countries in the Middle East.

"But we want more, we want diversification," Ferraz said.

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Reporting by Marcela Ayres; Editing by Josie Kao

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