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Doria expects to attract USD 7 bn in investment from UAE

Doria expects to attract USD 7 bn in investment from UAE

São Paulo governor spoke in a press conference during the opening of the São Paulo state international office in Dubai this Monday (10). Money is expected from investment in concession and privatization programs over the next three years.

The governor of São Paulo, João Doria, said that, with the opening of the state’s new international office in Dubai, he expects to attract BRL 30 billion (USD 7 billion) in investment in concession and privatization programs over the next three years. The opening event ran this Monday (10) afternoon in the area of Dubai Maritime City in Port Rashid, where the office will be located and maintained by DP World. This is São Paulo’s second international office. The first one opened last year in Shanghai, China.

The main investments expected from funds such as Abu Dhabi Investment Authority (ADIA) and Mubadala are in the sector of infrastructure, such as port privatizations and concessions, roads, railways, regional airports, procurement of new subway lines and urban trains, as well as São Paulo water and waste management company (Sabesp), which is the “crown jewel,” Doria says.

The governor said that the Arabs have prioritized Brazil in Latin America in their investment, and that the state of São Paulo alone has 21 ongoing projects of concessions and privatizations. This is Doria’s second mission of the year. He was in Davos, Switzerland in January to participate in the World Economic Forum and said that he’ll make another ten travels by the end of the year, including one to Lebanon in July and one to Qatar in September.

“This mission marks the opening of the international office, an unheard-of initiative. No other city or state in Latin America has opened an office here in Dubai. This mission is also in charge of signing contracts with companies, banks, and private and public institutions to stimulate business and boost exports to the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, and North Africa. We are supported by the UAE government, the UAE consulate in São Paulo, Brazil’s embassy in Abu Dhabi, and DP World,” Doria said.

Attending the event were the CEO of DP World, Ahmed bin Sulayem; Brazil’s ambassador to Abu Dhabi, Fernando Igreja; the UAE general consul in São Paulo, Ibrahim Alalawi; the CEO of animal protein company BRF, Lourival Luz; the president of São Paulo Investment Promotion Agency (InvesteSP), Wilson Mello; the head of the São Paulo state office in Dubai, Silvia Pierson, as well as secretaries of state and a delegation of 47 businesspeople in the mission.Pictured above, Sulayem, Igreja and Doria.

ADIA is already an investor of Sabesp, while Mubadala has invested in Rota das Bandeiras – a leased road – and Viracopos and Guarulhos airports.

Doria said that, with the opening of the office in Dubai, the new headquarters will help boost business in the region. “Good deals are made in person, face to face. The initiative and the decisions are made in person, and this improves Brazil-UAE trust and relations. It’s a show of support, trust, and it’ll really help Brazil and São Paulo to attract investment for our privatization programs,” the governor said.

The state secretary of Finance and Planning of São Paulo, Henrique Meirelles, said at the opening that there’s a very strong process going on to promote private investment in the state. He said that São Paulo grew by 2.6% in 2019 and that it’s expected to reach 3.5% in 2020, with the infrastructure concession process for the private sector. Meirelles said that these funds now invest approximately BRL 5 billion (USD 1 billion) in Brazil. “We have 21 large-, medium- and small-sized projects, all being offered to private concessions,” the secretary said.

Doria said that this concessions and privatizations will result in more cash on hand to be allocated in the social field, with investment in healthcare, education, popular housing, and public security.

The governor said that the Port of Santos is expected to be privatized next year and he’s working alongside the federal government – specifically the minister of Infrastructure, Tarcísio Gomes de Freitas, and Economy, Paulo Guedes – to make it happen. “We have a pretty good relationship with the federal government and ministers Freitas and Guedes. We have a constructive technical relationship. We have no quarrels, and I expect we can go on with it,” he said. Asked about guarantees that this privatization will be implemented, Doria said that minister Freitas gave his word that it’ll happen in early 2021. “The privatization of Port of Santos is strategically crucial for the state of São Paulo, the country’s largest importer and exporter,” he said.

DP World CEO Sulayem said that he’s interested no only in Port of Santos, where the Dubai-based company already has a terminal, but in ports in the entire country.

Formula 1

Doria reiterated his intention to privatize Interlagos Autódromo, a project of his from when he was mayor of São Paulo, and retaining Formula 1 in the city. The contract renewal for another ten years with the company that organizes the event, Liberty, is expected to be signed by the end of the first half, the governor says. “We want to announce it alongside [mayor] Bruno Covas by the end of the first half, in May or June, and Liberty also wants this renewal to happen beforehand, prior to the next GP,” he finished.

Emirates

A representation of the UAE-based airline Emirates attended the opening of the office. Doria said he wants the frequency of flights to São Paulo to increase over the next years, since the city of São Paulo is a large tourism outbound market for Dubai.

Businesspeople

Among the 47 businesspeople in the mission is Ricardo Gracia, the development and innovation director at Kidy, a children’s footwear company based in Birigui, São Paulo. He told ANBA he’s participating in the mission because they plan on opening their own stores in the UAE instead of exporting to multi-brand retails, as they’ve been doing, in order to have a bigger profit margin.

As for Maurício Moraes, foreign trade manager at Broto Legal, a rice and beans company, told ANBA he’s in Dubai with the government mission to learn about the Arab market. “We still haven’t exported to the UAE, or any other Arab country, yet, and we know the potential, we are very interested in breaking into this market,” he said.

Sugar

This Monday morning, Doria spoke at Dubai Sugar Conference, the world’s largest sugar event, and stressed the importance of expanding ethanol foreign market as a way of providing benefits to the environment and balancing prices in the sugarcane industry. Now, 55% of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of São Paulo agribusiness comes from the sector.

Source: Anba

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