Bruna Garcia Fonseca
Abu Dhabi – Mac Jee, Taurus, CBC Defense, Condor and Embraer. These are the five Brazilian defense-related companies exhibiting at IDEX 2019, International Defense Conference in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, one of the most important of the sector in the world. According to representatives from the companies, the biennial event, which is in its 25th edition, is strategic to consolidate businesses in the region of the Middle East, Africa, and Asia.
Domus director-president Fabio Ayub Ferreira also participated in the Brazilian pavilion organized by the Brazilian Defense and Security Industries Association (ABIMDE, acronym in Portuguese), but without a stand of its own. Domus created a model of portable houses for refugees.
Founded in 2013, the company wants to export to the international market. “There has been some interest from Jordan, Egypt and the UAE; the last one said they intend to buy a thousand houses do donate to refugees in the Middle East,” he told. The portable house has a high cost, around BRL 25,000 (USD 6,700), but according to Ferreira, their difference is the dignity it brings to people when they most need shelter and a safe place.
“Our biggest competition are tents, containers, and IKEA’s mountable houses (Sweden), but they don’t have infrastructure, don’t have a floor or running water,” he explained. Domus houses are complete with a kitchen, a bedroom, a living room, and a bathroom, and each house shelters up to six people. ABIMDE advisor Thomas Ceneviva said this is the fifth time Brazil participates in IDEX, and the region has other smaller exhibitions of the sector, in Jordan and Turkey, but the country chose to participate only in the Abu Dhabi event. “IDEX is the exhibition that brings the highest business volume for Brazilian companies,” he explained.
This year, the Brazilian pavilion is 74 square meters. Condor regional sales manager for Western Europe and Sub-Saharan African José Kalil said the Brazilian non-lethal technologies – such as tear gas and pepper spray – already exports to more than 50 countries, and for most Arabs, specially in North Africa.
“This is the third edition we participate in, and since the exhibition is biennial, it is the most important event, taking turns with Eurosatory in Paris,” said Kalil. For the lethal weapons company Taurus, IDEX is also strategic, since 70% of the total produced by the Brazilian manufacturer is sold abroad.
“The United States are our main foreign market, with about 60% of the total exports, but we also sells a lot to the military and law enforcement sectors in Arab countries such as Oman, Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Bahrain and the UAE,” said the company’s foreign sales executive Emerson Luiz de Souza. According to him, sales to the Arab civilian market are very small, since most countries don’t allow civilians to carry a gun.