Official visit to Brazil: Reception in Rio de Janeiro
Boa noite a todos!
Thank you, Ambassador Wiig, for your kind words and for hosting this reception to celebrate the strong ties between Brazil and Norway.
I have close family in Rio de Janeiro and have been here several times before – but I am still struck by the beauty of the city and the hospitality of the "cariocas".
It is not obvious that Brazil and Norway have much in common. The Arctic Circle cuts through Norway, while the Equator cuts through Brazil. More people live in Rio de Janeiro than in the whole of Norway. A lot more, actually. However, we do in fact have a surprising amount in common.
Our two countries share values and are strong partners in many areas that are important for our common future. Both countries have vast natural resources – like fish, hydropower, and oil and gas. Also, our oil and gas sectors have to contend with a demanding environment and complex geology.
Currently, we are facing a challenging economic environment, especially in the oil and gas sector. However, we both have a strong belief that through collaboration we can turn challenges into opportunities!
Today, I have travelled across Rio; from Copacabana to Itaboraí. Throughout the day, I have been impressed by the extent of Brazilian-Norwegian collaboration, as well as by Norwegian investments in Rio de Janeiro.
I have heard about the many areas of mutual interest between our countries, at the seminar this morning, where topics ranged from the petroleum and maritime sectors, to higher education, seafood, and technology start-ups. This is promising for the future!
I have seen how common challenges can serve to inspire common solutions, at Ilha do Fundão, where and Brazilian and Norwegian researchers, co-financed by Statoil and Petrobras, are developing the first mobile robot for offshore installations.
I also observed an advanced maritime sector using impressive technology supplied by Norwegian companies at VARD Shipyard.
I have visited companies that believe in corporate social responsibility and creating shared value for the communities in which they operate. And I have seen inspired young people involved in the social projects Karanba and Dream, Learn, Work.
I addition: It is exciting to see that after more than 170 years, ‘Bacalhau da Noruega’ is still a key commodity in Brazilian-Norwegian trade – and I look forward to tasting some of it with you all tonight.
Ladies and gentlemen,
today, I have spoken with highly motivated employees working in knowledge-driven industries and I have witnessed first-hand the strength, and the future potential, of Brazilian-Norwegian business cooperation.
I am very impressed and I look forward to discussing this future with you tonight.
So, let us raise our glasses to the strong relations between our countries, both in business and in so many other areas of importance to our common future – may they continue to grow!