By Bernd Debusmann Jr
Bilateral trade between the UAE and Brazil stood at $2.6bn in 2018
Brazil president Jair Bolsonaro arrived in the UAE on Saturday to begin a three-day state visit.
Bolsonaro is accompanied on the trip by a number of senior Brazilian ministers and officials, according to the UAE’s state-run WAM News Agency.
In an interview, Brazilian ambassador Fernando Luis Lemos Igreja said that the visit comes amid increasingly close business ties between Brazil and the UAE.
“The bilateral trade stood at $2.6 billion in 2018,” he said. “However, the first eight months of 2019 have already witnessed $2 billion trade transactions. This means 2019 trade volumes will surpass the 2018 figures.”
On Sunday, over 200 Brazilian and UAE business people are expected at the Brazil-UAE Business Forum in Abu Dhabi.
Currently, two daily flights operated by Emirates to Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo are the only two direct flights to Latin America from the UAE.
“Therefore, Brazil acts as a gateway to Latin America for the UAE,” Igreja said.