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Thu 4 Dec 2008 07:51 AM

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Brazil eyes new Middle East food opportunities

Trade officials from South American nation looks to boost food, drink brands in region.

Brazil is eyeing new opportunities in the Middle East's food and beverage market and aims to strengthen the country's brands in the region.

The Brazilian Trade and Investment Promotion Agency (Apex-Brasil) announced on Wednesday that it will organise a Flavours from Brazil festival in Dubai in February in a bid to pitch food brands to local retailers.

IFP Emirates is collaborating with Apex-Brasil, which will select around 40 top companies with strong export experience, to present their products at the event.

Brazil was responsible for 16 percent of food and drink imported to Arab countries in 2007 but the South American nation is aiming to grow trade further.

Juarez Leal, project manager, Flavours from Brazil, said: "Statistics show that Brazilian products have a high reputation among Arab markets.

"The Flavours from Brazil in Dubai will surely be an important step towards further consolidating the reputation of Brazilian products among Arab consumers.

"This initiative will also enable exporters to open new business opportunities and identify new export destinations in the Middle East."

Bassel Amaneddine, general manager, IFP Emirates, added: "Brazilian products are achieving remarkable success in Arab markets. However, competition remains strong, thus the need to reinforce the Brazilian brand to ensure long-term market patronage."

Flavours from Brazil will also serve as a launch pad for around 50 importers and distributors from Brazil to set up, themed shelves in the main supermarkets in the Middle East.

Under the system, businessmen who guarantee $1 million in purchases of Brazilian products may get up to $100,000 in promotion, including products and sampling counters, among other promotional activities.

Brazil has been recognized as one of the largest suppliers of food products in the world because of its abundance of water and fertile land, a favourable climate, the diversity of agricultural products, a high degree of technological development and elevated levels of agricultural productivity.

Brazilian exports of agricultural products increased from $20.6 billion to $58.4 billion per year between 2000 and 2007, a growth of 183.4 percent, according to figures from the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock Farming and Supply.

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