Saudi Arabia – Brazil boost investment ties
President´s Brazil Jair Bolsonaro’s upcoming visit to Saudi Arabia demonstrates Brazil’s interest in strengthening economic cooperation and maintaining high-level relations with one of the world’s leading countries. The visit will contribute to the expansion of Saudi investments in Brazil, in sectors such as infrastructure, defense, innovation, energy and agribusiness, as well as encourage Saudi participation in Brazilian concessions and privatization programs, in particular in the projects of the Investment Partnership Program-
In the context of attracting foreign investment based on the Vision 2030 plan, an initiative that has been highlighted is related to the creation of new special economic zones. The King Abdullah Economic City (between Makkah and Madinah, including a seaport), Knowledge Economic City (in Madinah, to consolidate as a technology hub and create 20,000 jobs), Prince Abdul Aziz bin Mousaed economic city project (in Hail, which will act as a ground transportation hub) and Jazan, are the four examples of special economic zones announced so far.
The Vision 2030 plan is the main reference of all mentioned initiatives for the allocation of these resources. Diversification and stability of the economy, financial equilibrium, and improved living standards are essential elements of this process. It is fundamental to galvanize the private sector.
Football is very popular in Saudi Arabia with the national team playing in the World Cup. Saudi Arabia’s football has traditionally signed Brazilian coaches, coaching staff and players, both in clubs and in the national squad. World-famous head coaches, such as Mario Zagallo and Carlos Parreira, both world champions with the Brazilian national team, have helped take Saudi football to a higher level.
Currently, Brazil and Saudi Arabia are in the final stages of negotiations of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on cooperation in sports. The MoU is expected to be signed during the president’s visit. It will have the potential to significantly boost bilateral cooperation between the two nations, both in football and in other sports.
Furthermore, both nations are currently negotiating the participation of Brazilian coaches and coaching staff in the Saudi project of setting up a series of football academies, throughout its territory, to teach the Brazilian style of playing to Saudi kids in ages ranging from six to 11 years. The project aims to popularize the game among Saudi kids and to nurture a new generation of talented players who will bring a lot of joy and pride to Saudi fans.
Also the Vision 2030 plan represents a legal framework with rules and guidelines for the restructuring and modernization of the country’s economic and productive system, aiming to make the Kingdom’s economy less dependent on oil.
• Brazil and Saudi Arabia are in the final stages of negotiations of a memorandum of understanding on cooperation in sports.
otal trade between Brazil and Saudi Arabia amounted to $4.4 billion in 2018, with a small deficit on the Brazilian side, of about $218.6 million.
In comparison to 2017, Brazil’s oil imports from Saudi Arabia increased in 2018, changing a surplus into a deficit for our country.
In 2018, exports were mainly of basic products (63 percent), followed by semi-finished goods (19.6 percent) and finished goods (16.9 percent).
The main products exported by Brazil to Saudi Arabia are frozen poultry (38 percent of total value exported) and sugar (16 percent).
As regards imports in 2018, basic products topped the list (71.8 percent of total value imported), followed by finished (26.1 percent) and semi-finished goods (2.12 percent). Crude oil was first among all goods imported (71 percent), followed by fertilizers (12 percent) and polymers (8.5 percent).
Agreements under negotiation for possible signature during the presidential visit include:
(i) Agreement for cooperation in science, technology and innovation
(ii) MoU on short-stay visas
(iii) MoU on cultural cooperation
(iv) Framework agreement for cooperation in defense
(v) MoU between defense ministries on a bilateral defense investment fund
(vi) MoU for cooperation in sports
(vii) MoU between the National Bank for Economic and Social Development (BNDES) and the Saudi Fund for Development on co-financing.
This is President Bolsonaro’s first official visit to Arab countries in the Middle East. His visit to Riyadh demonstrates Brazil’s interest in strengthening economic cooperation and maintaining high-level relations with one of the world’s leading countries. Cabinet members, congressional and business representatives will join the presidential delegation.
The visit will contribute to the expansion of Saudi investments in Brazil, in sectors such as infrastructure, defense, innovation, energy and agribusiness, as well as encourage Saudi participation in Brazilian concessions and privatization programs, in particular in the projects of the Investment Partnership Program (PPI) portfolio.
The visit will also enable our countries to explore cooperation in the fields of defense, science, technology, innovation and agriculture.