Jafza officials signed a memorandum of understanding with the Arab Brazilian Chamber of Commerce, and presented to more than 80 Brazilian companies, pitching Dubai as an Islamic hub and a gateway to the Middle East, the Indian subcontinent, and the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS).
Islamic economy hub
As one of the GCC's largest suppliers of food, particularly meat, Brazil is a key market for Dubai and its vision to become an “Islamic economy hub”. Jafza has been pitching this vision and the planned Halal zones at a number of events around the world, most recently in Malaysia last month.
“Our roadshow and business seminar in Brazil seeks to create greater awareness of the opportunities in the Middle East and CIS among Brazilian businesses and attract them to Jafza, which is the business and logistics hub of the region. In terms of agro-products, [Economic Zones World's] upcoming Halal zones offer huge opportunities for Brazilian companies in the food sector,” said Adil Al Zarooni, head of the Jafza delegation and senior vice president for sales at Jafza.
Dubai launched the Halal zones initiative earlier this year, in a bid to capture a slice of the US$2.3 trillion global Halal food industry, which is currently highly fragmented and without a central certification authority. The zones will cover more than 1.5m square metres in total, split between Jafza and the TechnoPark free zone, and should be operational by 2016.
“Halal zones will integrate a one-stop-shop system to service each and every need of customers in the halal supply chain, offering ease of doing business. We seek to collaborate and attract organisations, associations, accreditation bodies, R&D, as well as advisory firms to support the entire halal value chain right from R&D, product development to sourcing, production, logistics, sales and marketing,” Al Zarooni told businesses in Malaysia last month.
“We also plan to promote the Halal standards globally, being developed by Emirates Authority for Standardization and Metrology and Dubai Accreditation Department, to attract enterprises within the Halal industry from across the world,” he added.
Last year Brazil's food exports to the Middle East reached US$5.3bn, and frozen chicken cuts became the single biggest export category to the region, including non-food items.
“Brazil and UAE enjoy very robust bilateral trade relations. The UAE is a major importer of Brazilian agricultural products in the region but huge growth possibilities still remain untapped... Massive investments on developing economic and social infrastructure in the region that Jafza as a hub serves open huge opportunities for Brazilian companies,” Al Zarooni told audiences in Sao Paulo.