From 2004 to 2014, Brazilian exports to the African countries increased by 131%, being sugar, beef, poultry, and cereals the highlights of those flows. Trade-in agriculture between both regions has also the potential to unlock valuable opportunities to other economic sectors and supporting growth. In this sense, a panel gathered Mrs. Luana Ozemela, CEO of Development Impact Managers and Advisors, Mr. Igor Lucena, Research Economist of Brazil Africa Institute, Mrs. Fernanda Leite, Manager at the International Trade Center, Mr. Tamer Mansour, General Secretary of the Arab-Brazilian of Commerce, and Mr. Hippolyte Fofack, Chief Economist and Director of Research and International Cooperation of Afreximbank.
“Do you think agriculture is the biggest and more profitable sector of Brazil and Africa?” this question asked by the mediator Omar Ben Yedder opened the panel and had lead to important discussions on how to overcome the challenges and build effective strategies to establish a fair trade between Brazil and the African continent.
For Mrs. Fernanda Leite “there’s a lot of work to be done and we need to know where and how people consume certain products, in order to understand the demand and build a strategy of investment.” She added that China and other countries have been doing business vigorously in Africa. “Where is Brazil, especially in agriculture?”, asked.
The fact that Brazil’s government demonstrates its openness to strengthening the relations between the country and the African continent is a clear message that great partnerships might come in the near future. Mr. Fofack highlights that “Brazil has been helping us and it can help even more, particularly in terms of industrialization and renewable energy.”
Likewise, the African continent has great lessons to teach. Mrs. Luana Ozemela reminds us of the blockage suffered by Qatar in 2017: “The blockage forced the country to improve their self-sufficiency strategies. The country has shown us how they were able to recover in less than 2 years.” She truly believes in the potential of the agriculture sector and added that Qatar is eager to strengthen relations with Brazil.
When it comes to the trade war, other topics presented during the session, the speakers’ opinions are divided. In order to master long-term economic relations, it turns out necessary to understand the liberal methodologies that have been taking place all over the world and, according to Mr. Igor Lucena, find multilateral strategies that bring economic growth, even in the middle of a crisis. “Brazil and its agricultural potential, in terms of profit and economic development of societies, is the answer to this question.” mentioned, when asked about the potential of the agriculture sector.
One of the alternatives presented, that could create a fair trade landscape between Brazil and Africa, consists of a triangulation that unifies the soil and seeds from the African continent, the solid machinery, plantations and harvesting techniques from Brazil and the investment coming from developed countries worldwide. In this sense, Mr. Igor said that governs and international organisms will not solve the problem by themselves, but it is a proper time to stimulate solutions like this, due to the global low-interest rates combined with the huge amount of money available for investments. “It doesn’t make sense to hold the capital in the financial system right now. It is necessary to redirect this money to the productive sector and to stimulate the trade agreements”.
The 7th edition of Brazil Africa Forum, held in São Paulo on November 12th and 13th, came up with the main theme “Food security: Path to economic growth”. During the event, around 300 representatives from governments, private sector, academia and possible investors exchanged experiences, discussed valuable opportunities and also spread vast knowledge related to possible solutions for the eradication of hunger, along with the promotion of sustainable development in Brazil and countries of the African continent.