São Paulo – Argentine exporters can sell their products to Arab markets through a virtual platform. Last September, the Argentine Arab Chamber of Commerce launched what it called the “Permanent Exhibition Hall” (PEH – PERMRMANENT EXHIBITION HALL ), With the aim of helping local businessmen to continue to communicate with Arab importers during the epidemic.
In an interview with the Brazilian Arab News Agency (ANPA), the President of the Argentine Arab Chamber of Commerce, Julio Hussein Madi (photo above), stated that the institution is working to enhance trade exchange between Argentina and the Arab countries, and that the relationship between the two regions is mainly based on trust, affection and personal communication. . He said, “If there are no friendly relations and trust, it is very difficult to reach these markets.”
With the onset of the Corona epidemic, the activities of the Argentine Arab Chamber, such as participating in exhibitions, had to be suspended, as well as with regard to direct contact with Arabs. “That is why we decided to provide a tool to achieve this convergence through the use of virtual halls,” Madi explained.
It is worth noting that the member companies of the Argentine Arab Chamber are allowed to display their products to the Arab market through the “permanent exhibition hall”. Maddy explains that the space is reserved for members so that the room is closely aware of the companies that negotiate through the platform, and whether they are honest and credible. Arab companies can also display their products to the Argentine market through the permanent digital platform.
Although the initiative targets trade between Arabs and Argentines, Madi explained that there is nothing to prevent companies from other parts of the world from viewing the offered goods, such as Brazilian companies wishing to buy products from Arab countries, for example. The volume of Arab goods available at the exhibition is still modest – the bulk of the products on display are of Argentine origin – and the Arab Argentine Chamber is working to expand the scope of Arab participation.
The Chamber is also working on promoting the initiative to attract more participants. In this context, Madi mentioned the Chamber’s most prominent partners contributing to this work, such as the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, International Trade and Worship Affairs in Argentina and its branches, such as the agency that deals with export promotion, the International Trade Secretariat, in addition to embassies. The Chamber’s president added that the initiative has also received support from the Federation of Arab Chambers and the member chambers.
In the first six months, the service will be provided free of charge to everyone, be it Arab or Argentinian models. Madi assures that the exhibition will be available permanently, and that this initiative is irreversible. The President says, “We are working to consolidate the exhibition’s status, and we will do all promotional activities in our capacity in the Arab countries to expand knowledge of its objectives. We will also take firm steps in this context. I think it will be a very successful step.”
Argentine exports to Arab countries are based on food products. But Madi believes that there are other fields and opportunities available in other sectors that should be exploited, such as the electrical installations, medical equipment, and agricultural technology. The president of the Argentine Arab Chamber added that Argentine exports today constitute between 0.5% and 1% of total Arab imports, equivalent to about 5 billion US dollars annually. On the other hand, Arab exports to Argentina are still very low.
* Saleh Hassan’s translation