Sao Paulo's office in Dubai a 'strategic decision': Governor

Photo: WAM

 Sao Paulo's Trade Promotion Office opened in Dubai on Monday will further enhance Brazil's business relations with the entire Middle East, the Governor of the state said.

"It is our strategic position and a strategic decision," Joao Doria told Emirates News Agency, WAM. "The reason we chose Dubai to open this office is because of the UAE’s importance in the Middle East and Africa region," he said in an exclusive interview in Abu Dhabi.

Sao Paulo had opened its first overseas in Shanghai in China in August 2019. "This is our second overseas office that will help attract investments from the entire Middle East to Sao Paulo," the 37th Governor of Sao Paulo added.

The Dubai office will facilitate investment relations between private sector companies in Sao Paulo and the UAE, said Doria who is on a 6-day official visit to the UAE with a large business delegation that holds meetings with companies and local investors in Abu Dhabi and Dubai.

Sao Paulo’s economy is growing almost three times faster in comparison to Brazilian national economy, he pointed out. According to Investe Sau Paulo, the state’s investment promotion agency, Sao Paulo accounted for 31 percent of Brazil's GDP and made up 32 percent of domestic income generated in Brazil's service sector in 2017.

"Sao Paulo is a very strong state in Brazil," he said. "With 45 million population, Sao Paulo is 4th largest consumer market in Latin America."

Dória and Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem, Group Chairman and CEO of DP World, led the opening ceremony of Sao Paulo’s office at Dubai Maritime City, attended by CEOs and leaders of 50 Brazilian companies as well as senior government officials.

Exports from Brazil to Arab countries grew by 6.3 percent year-on-year to reach US$12.197 billion in 2019, while Brazilian imports from the region reached a value of US$6.99 billion, according to Dubai Media Office.

The governor believes that as Sao Paulo is privatising a large number of its key sectors, investors in the UAE will be interested in those investment opportunities.

The Dubai office will be able to give related information to the investors, he said.

"We are privatising railways, roads, seaports, airports, waterways etc. The investment funds based in Abu Dhabi can have great interest to study and probably to invest in this privatisation programme," Doria noted.

Combatting corruption and crimes in the state has been a "top priority" of the Governor, explaining that digitalisation of the government systems has helped control corruption. "We are on the way to 100 percent digitalisation," he said.

Doria, a former journalist, thinks that negative impact caused by new coronavirus on the global economy will not last long. "I am sure China and other countries will be able to control it within two months."

He was the Mayor of the City of Sao Paulo from 2017-2018 and became the Governor in November 2018.

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