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Brazil: Investments and exports

Brazil is open to foreign investment in several economic segments and the one which is attracting much attention is the infrastructure segment which has great opportunities for foreign investors.

The procedures for the privatization process of four airports (in the cities of Florianopolis, Porto Alegre, Salvador and Fortaleza), mentioned the previous report, have already started to be implemented.

The state of Sao Paulo is privatizing two highways and investors from the Middle East are among those from several different countries interested in participating in the project.

In addition to that, an industry which potential investors should monitor is aviation. The Brazilian government is reviewing the levels of participation that a foreign investor may have in Brazilian airline companies. Delta Airlines holds 9% of Gol, and Latam, which is another airline company, announced back in 2016 an agreement with Qatar Airways for the latter to acquire up to 10% of the company via new shares.

In another move to consolidate relations between Brazil and the Middle East, the new Brazilian ambassador to Iran, Rodrigo de Azeredo Santos, has presented his credentials to lranian President Hassan Rouhani. Rodrigo stated that the Brazilian government wishes "to develop cooperation in the areas of industrial, energy, transportation, science, technology, culture and agriculture".

Minerva Foods, with its head office in the state of Sao Paulo, will open a subsidiary - Minerva Europe - in London so that the group may reach markets in North Africa ilnd the Middle East. The Vilela de Queiroz family controls the company while the Saudi Agriculture and Livestock fund (Salic), which already has 19.5% of the company, plans to increase its participation.

Could some investments in Brazil perhaps be made under Musharakah? Brazil does not have financial institutions fully dedicated to lslamic finance and the Brazilian laws and regulations still do not have a particular section related to this sector. However, shouldn't the possibility of an investment under an Islamic finance product be analyzed for its viability?

As to the Halal industry, Brazil is always showing signs of expansion, meaning that importers in Muslim-majority countries, for example, could consider using lslamic finance for imports.