By Andy Sambidge
One of world's biggest auto makers sees opportunities in Mideast - official.
The Brazilian car making industry, ranked among the largest in the world, is targeting growth in the Arab market, a senior official has said.
The Brazilian auto industry, which is populated almost entirely by global brands including General Motors, Volkswagen and Fiat, produced 3.2 million vehicles in 2008, is seeking to export more vehicles to the Middle East.
Cledorvino Belini, chairman of the National Association of Vehicle Manufacturers (Anfavea), said there were opportunities for growth in the Arab markets where current exports are "very small".
In an interview with the Brazil-Arab News Agency, he said Brazilian automakers sold 3,891 cars to the Arab market last year.
He added that the figures represented a 5.8 percent decline over 2008 when 4,120 units were exported.
Belini said that the industry "needs to work more" in order to seize market opportunities in Arab countries.
“The appreciated real Brazilian currency is a big obstacle, no doubt, but that aside, we know that for every production chain there is an opportunity to be more competitive in order to export, be it through cost, raw material, logistics, or ports infrastructure," added Belini.
In the Arab world, the leading buyers of vehicles made in Brazil, in 2009, were Tunisia, which imported 1,816 automobiles, followed by Egypt, with 932 vehicles, and Syria, with 801 units.
Morocco, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, the UAE, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait and Lebanon also purchased Brazilian vehicles last year although Tunisia and Syria were the only two Arab countries that increased their imports.For all the latest UAE news from the UAE and Gulf countries, follow us on Twitter and Linkedin, like us on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube page, which is updated daily.