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Whole World Is Bullish on Brazil, Says Brazilian Business Leader

October 14th, 2009

Salim Taufic Schahin

Saying that Brazil is “the ball of the turn,” Arab Brazilian Chamber of Commerce president Salim Taufic Schahin summarizes the moment of optimism the country is living. Schahin participated in the annual assembly of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank (WB), which took place last week in Istanbul, Turkey.

“There is optimism with regard to the growth of Brazil and with regard to investment opportunities presented in the pre-salt layer, the Olympic Games and the World Cup,” said Schahin, who is also a businessman and banker.

According to the president at the Arab Brazilian Chamber, the good perception regarding Brazil could be felt not just in the assembly general, but also in individual talks he had with bankers, ministers and businessmen.

Among the factors that place the country in a prominent position abroad, according to Schahin, are the economic stability, the currency, and the elevation of Brazil to investment grade by Moody’s, in September. “Brazil was the last to enter and the first to leave the crisis,” said the Arab Brazilian Chamber president.

He believes that all these factors should generate foreign direct investment in the country. “Much investment should come. We will have an important flow of capitals, and lines of credit opened,” he said.

Schahin had the opportunity to talk to Arabs who were present in Istanbul and said that among them is the same positive perception. The Arab Brazilian Chamber president recalls, however, that to attract Arab investment, the country needs to work on it, travelling to the region to promote Brazil. “We need to do our homework,” said Schahin.

In this respect, he spoke to the president of the Brazilian Development Bank (BNDES), Luciano Coutinho, and the financial director at Petrobras, Almir Barbassa, about the promotion of a seminar about Brazil in the Middle East, to attract Arab investors. Schahin recalls, however, that the Arabs also want to know about important matters for any investor, like investment safety, dual taxation and stability of the rules of contracts, among others.

The president of the General Union of Chambers of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture for Arab Countries, the Lebanese Adnan Kassar, offered his country to host the seminars on Arab investment in Brazil.

With Kassar, in fact, the Arab Brazilian Chamber president also discussed the possibility of promoting a meeting of the General Union of Chambers of Commerce in Brazil. He said he would take the theme to the organization’s next meeting, this month, in Kuwait.


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