Metro Brazil, a Sau Paulo-based e-commerce start-up that sells Brazilian products, has set up its regional base in Dubai CommerCity, the first dedicated e-commerce free zone in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia region (Measa).
The move will help accelerate Metro Brazil’s growth in the region and will help it to increase its sales by 30 to 40 per cent on an annual basis in the next 12 months, Alaa Ali, the company's founder and chief executive, told The National.
“Dubai is the hub of the international trade. Our permanent base in the city will help us to expand our business across various new markets in the coming months … I am expecting a huge jump in our sales with this move,” Mr Ali said, without divulging exact figures.
E-commerce transactions have boomed amid the coronavirus outbreak as movement restrictions to contain the pandemic prompted people to shop online.
The value of the e-commerce sector in the Mena region grew to $22 billion last year, up from $4.2bn in 2015, according to a white paper published in April by Dubai-based venture capital company Wamda and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Legatum Centre for Development and Entrepreneurship.
The e-commerce market in the Measa region is expected to grow at an annual rate of 18.4 per cent to $148.5bn by next year, according to report released by CommerCity in May.
Launched in 2017, Metro Brazil started with selling Brazilian goods in the Middle East. It is now supplying products to more than 80 countries in the Middle East, Europe, Australia and the Americas.
The company sells various products including cosmetics, clothing, sportswear and body-care goods as well as products from premium Brazilian brands such as Plie, Loola, Lupo, Riobelo, Hope, Liz, Sao Lindas, Nazca and Lizze.
Metro Brazil’s new regional base in Dubai will include offices … warehouses …logistics [infrastructure] and a dedicated customer service centre”, Mr Ali said.