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Lula Makes a Commercial Stopover in the Emirates

After visiting China and engaging in diplomatic and economic relations with the Asian country, the Brazilian president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva arrived in Abu Dhabi, the capital of United Arab Emirates (UAE). The UAE, being a hydrocarbon-rich country on the Arabian Peninsula, welcomed Lula as he was received by Sheikh Mohammed ben Zayed al Nahyan, the president of the country. During his visit, “issues on the bilateral agenda will be discussed, including trade, investment, energy transition, climate change, and global security.”

Bilateral Trade between UAE and Brazil

Since 2008, the UAE has been one of the three main partners of Brazil in the Middle East. In 2022, the UAE was the main destination for Brazilian exports among Arab countries. Bilateral trade between the Emirates and Brazil rose to 5,768 million dollars in 2022, with a surplus of 740 million in favor of Brazil, according to Brazilian official data. Chicken meat became the main export product of Brazil (29% of the total), followed by sugar (14%), gold (14%), cellulose (8.2%), and beef (8%). On the import side, 89% of the total value was from purchasing oil and bituminous materials derived from hydrocarbons.

Lula’s Visit to China

Lula’s visit to China was marked with geopolitical tones, urging the United States to stop “incentivizing war” and to be part of a peace mediation between Russia and Ukraine. Unlike Western powers, China and Brazil have not imposed sanctions against Russia and are trying to position themselves as mediators in the conflict that broke out in February 2022 when Russia invaded the former Soviet republic.

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No “Scratches” with the US

Lula has undertaken the delicate balancing exercise between the United States and China through his diplomacy. Lula’s approach to international relations is similar to his previous terms of presidency, with an “independent and pragmatic foreign policy.” However, the challenge is tough in a politically polarized environment, putting under scrutiny each of his initiatives.


Lula’s visit to the UAE aims to maintain and strengthen the bilateral relations between the two countries, particularly in trade, investment, energy transition, climate change, and global security. His visit to China marks his efforts to maintain peace and mediate conflicts between nations. Lula’s balancing act between the United States and China can be attributed to his independent and pragmatic foreign policy, ensuring the benefit of Brazil and its people.

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