Moscow – PhosAgro Deputy CEO Alexander Sharabaiko participated in a webinar on doing business in Brazil in the current geopolitical environment.
During the event, Brazil’s Ambassador to Russia, Rodrigo de Lima Baena Soares; the President of the Brazilian–Russian Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Culture and Tourism, Gilberto Ramos; representatives of the international law firms Heres Legal and Trigueiro Fontes; and members of the Russia–Brazil Business Council discussed the current state of and prospects for collaboration between Russian and Brazilian businesses as well as legal aspects involved in doing business in Brazil.
Ambassador de Lima Baena Soares noted the rapid growth of bilateral trade and the important role of Russian mineral fertilizers in this process.
In 2021, trade between Russia and Brazil increased by nearly 87%, to around USD 7.5 billion, surpassing pre-pandemic levels. The main driver was Russian exports, more than 67% of which was made up of fertilizers. PhosAgro’s fertilizers account for about 14% of Russia’s total exports to Brazil, which plays a major role in fulfilling Russia’s aim of increasing high-tech non-commodity exports.
“Not only have we maintained the level of trade between our countries; we’ve even increased it. Over the first 11 months of this year, we observed a record amount of trade, which reached USD 8.8 billion. We are moving towards the target of USD 10 billion. This is without question due in no small part to fertilizers. Fertilizers are essential; we are an agricultural country, and we export food all over the world. They are vital to our agribusiness sector, and we need Russian fertilizers,” said the Brazilian ambassador.
Valentin Borodin, the head of Brazilian affairs at the Moscow office of Heres Legal and a member of the Russia–Brazil Business Council stressed the importance of developing business contacts between Russia and Brazil in the current geopolitical environment.
“Russian business should pay special attention to the development of business contacts with Latin America and, of course, with its largest country, Brazil. Brazil is a friendly country and has not imposed sanctions on Russia. At the same time, it is a huge market and exporter of industrial goods and various raw materials,” said Mr Borodin.
Alexander Sharabaiko, PhosAgro Deputy CEO and Deputy Chairman of the Russia–Brazil Business Council, noted the interest on the part of Russian business in the Brazilian market in response to changes in the global economy.
“Due to changes in sales geographies, supply chains and cash flows during the outgoing year, Russian companies have shown unprecedented interest in promoting their projects in Brazil. Evidence of this can be seen in the manifold increase in trade between Russia and Brazil. Our Council will facilitate the development of this dynamic in any way it can,” said Mr Sharabaiko.
In providing an example of successful initiatives to develop cooperation between Russia and Brazil, PhosAgro’s Deputy CEO recalled the Russia–Brazil Business Council Forum held earlier this year, which resulted in the preparation and presentation to Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro of a list of consolidated proposals from Russian and Brazilian businesses in an effort to intensify collaboration. The list included areas of bilateral cooperation such as the development of agriculture, environmental protection, energy, defence, science and technology, and pharmaceuticals.
The Russia–Brazil Business Council was established in 2004 to develop contacts between Russian and Brazilian businesses, to promote Russian exports and investment in Brazil, and to encourage Brazilian investment in Russia. The Business Council has greatly intensified its work of late, expanding the areas covered by bilateral business ties, and preparing proposals to bolster trade and economic cooperation between Russia and Brazil.