Brazil Gets 21 Heads of State for Arab-South American Summit

    Ten leaders from South America and 11 from Arab countries were committed, up until last Monday, May 2, to participate at the summit for the two regions, which will take place next week in BrasÀ­lia.

    From South America only Ecuador and Suriname have not yet confirmed the presence of their heads of state. The president of Argentina, Néstor Kirchner, should participate at the meeting.


    Among the Arab leaders, present at the Brazilian federal capital should be the president of Palestine, Mahmoud Abbas, the president of Algeria, Abdelaziz Bouteflika, the president of Iraq, Jalal Talabani, the president of the Comoro Islands, Assoumane Azali, the president of Djibouti, Ismael Omar Guelleh, the emir of Qatar, Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani, the king of Jordan, Abdullah II, and the king of Morocco, Mohamed IV.


    The heads of government of Syria, Bahrain and United Arab Emirates are also expected.


    The Brazilian Ministry of Foreign Relations expects two thousand entrepreneurs to come to Brasí­lia to attend the summit. Although the encounter is mostly political, with plans for various meetings among heads of State, the encounter will also provide an opportunity to do business.


    Representatives of the Mercosur, the Andean Community, the Gulf Cooperation Council, and the Economic and Social Council will participate in the opening ceremony.


    The seminar for businessmen will include five thematic panels. The first will deal with the distinctive commercial cultures of the two regions. It will be a space devoted to the exchange of information on how to do business in each region.


    In the second and third panels, entrepreneurs will analyze trade flows and investment opportunities. The last two panels will cover tourism and legal possibilities.


    The transportation sector is expected to be one of the focuses of discussion among entrepreneurs. At present no direct ocean shipping lines exist between South America and the Arab countries. Concurrently with the seminar there will be an investments fair.

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