The Israeli Minister of Economy and Industry, Eli Cohen, met earlier this month with Marcos Pereira, the Minister of Industry, Trade and Services of Brazil, the world’s seventh largest economy to discuss economic cooperation between the two countries.

Pereira made his official debut visit with a delegation of 15 senior government officials.

“Markets in Latin America and Brazil tend to be particularly challenging for Israeli companies, but have high potential for cooperation. The Israel-MERCOSUL Free Trade Area Agreement positions Israel as the only non-Latin American country which benefits from preferential access to the Brazilian market. This is an important instrument for Israeli companies, along with the desire of both countries to bolster cooperation,” said Cohen.

Following the Israeli government’s decision from 2014, intended to promote and expand economic ties between Israel and Latin America, the Israeli Ministry of Economy and Industry has been investing significant efforts helping Israeli companies penetrate this market. New Israeli trade missions were established in Bogota, Rio de Janeiro, Lima and Santiago.

Trade between Israel and Brazil reached $1.12 billion in 2012, of which Israel exported goods worth $686 million and imported goods worth $425 million

From January to May 2017, Israel exported goods worth $288 million to Brazil, a 31% rise compared to the same period last year  — according to the Brazilian Ministry of Industry, Trade and Services.