In the third round of the onshore and off shore oil and gas exploration auctions in Brazil, a consortium comprising Shell (55%), China National Off shore Oil Corporation (20%) and QPI Brasil Petroleo (25%) obtained the block area Alto de Cabo Frio Oeste. This auction proves that foreign investors have interest in Brazilian oil and gás exploration while other companies like Statoil, Repsol and Exxon have also obtained certain areas. It is Worth mentioning that PETRONAS already has a presence in Brazil.

The Brazilian copper company Paranapanema is searching for new markets for exportation, so that it does not have to solely depend on the local Brazilian market. One of the geographic regions Paranapanema is looking at is the Middle East because of the infrastructure projects that are growing swiftly there.

If all goes well, it is highly likely that Middle East importers could evaluate the alternative of using a Shariah compliant product like Murabahah in their deals with Paranapanema.

However, it should be noted that Brazil takes a long time to put agreements in place — approximately four years. One interesting example is the trade accord with Egypt that was signed in 2010 but yet it is still not in place. It is a pity that an accord between the two countries with high potentialities in the Islamic trade finance area has not taken off . This information is the result of a research carried out by the Brazilian National Confederation of Industry.

Water scarcity is a serious problem in certain parts of Brazil and seawater desalination is an alternative — a common practice in the Middle East and Singapore. This is in line with the eff orts of International Desalination Association that organized the IDA World Congress 2017 with the theme 'Ensure Your Water Future' held at the Sao Paulo World Trade Center in Brazil from the 15th-20th October.

Seawater desalination is quite an interesting proposition that can provide opportunities for Islamic finance in terms of financing seawater desalination plants.

Este artigo foi publicado no Islamic Finance news, dia 10 de novembro de 2017.

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