Latin American – MENA Trade Surges

Economic relations between Latin America and Arab nations are building quickly.

Trade between Latin America and MENA states is surging despite disruptions caused by the Arab Spring, according to the Financial Times. The trade is focused primarily on commodities at this point with Sovereign wealth funds playing a prominent role. Qatar and Abu Dhabi have been the most active in Latin America, and Brazil’s exports to the region are illustrative of the nature of the trading relationship. Sugar is the top export to Egypt, Tunisia, the UAE and Yemen. For Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Oman, it is iron ore. Brazil receives oil in return. The Latin American nations are now attempting to add more “value added” products to the mix, with companies like the Brazilian aircraft manufacturer Embraer are leading the charge. Investors in the MENA are also increasingly interested in importing prominent Latin American brands and franchises into their economies.