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Peregrino Oil Field: Opening speech

Speech by His Royal Highness The Crown Prince at the opening of the Peregrino oil field outside Rio de Janeiro, 24 May 2011.

Excellencies,
Ministers,
distinguished guests,

Thank you for inviting me to this official opening of the Peregrino field. The opening represents an important milestone.

The Peregrino field will yield oil for decades to come and be a source of jobs, significant tax revenues and technological development.

I would like to congratulate the partners and the Brazilian Government on reaching this milestone.

Relations between Norway and Brazil are based on friendship, mutual respect and cooperation, and they go back a long way. The first Norwegian ship carrying bacalhau docked in Rio de Janeiro in the 1840s and returned to Norway with coffee and sugar. Brazil, far away from us geographically, was among the very first countries to recognise Norway’s independence in 1905.

Personally, I have had the pleasure of visiting Brazil several times, as my aunt, my uncle and several cousins have been living here all my life. Therefore, Brazil is a special country for me, and for my family.

Today, Brazil is the world’s seventh largest economy, with great economic and political influence in global terms. The spectacular rise of your country has attracted the world’s attention.

From Norway’s perspective, Brazil has become very important for our business sector and is now the country in which we invest the most outside the EU and the US. More than one quarter of the specialized ships operating around us in the oil and gas sector here in Brazilian waters have Norwegian owners.

Our relations are characterised by complementarities. Norway can offer much of what Brazil needs to reach its ambitious targets. Sharing our petroleum and maritime experience, as we have seen today, is a good example of cooperation and joint efforts between our countries. At the same time, I am aware that Brazil has a lot to offer us.

It may be true that business activities form the main pillar of our relations today. But Norway is also proud to be Brazil’s close partner in other important endeavours.

Brazil is one of the most active countries in the world in combating climate change. Your Amazon Fund, which Norway supports, is an expression of our common commitment to fight deforestation and climate change.

Norway’s aim is to develop even closer ties with Brazil in the years to come. Energy, climate change and the environment, along with global political challenges such as health, human rights and fighting poverty, are all areas where we intend to take our cooperation a step further.

We will also encourage exchanges and cooperation in education and research, sports and culture. All of this will bring our two nations even closer together and help develop a long-term, mutually enriching partnership.

I am excited to note that relations between our countries are closer and more vibrant than ever before. Just this year, four Norwegian ministers have visited Brazil. Furthermore, the Norwegian Government has recently presented a strategy for our cooperation with Brazil.

The strategy sets out many values and principles that our countries share and shows that we could benefit even more from each other’s experience and knowledge in many areas.

I am confident that you will be successful in further developing your industry, as well as in your future educational and technological advancements. In Norway we are ready to play our part in such partnerships – as our presence here at the Peregrino field today shows.

Excellencies, Ministers, ladies and gentlemen, it is a great honour to declare the Peregrino field officially open.

Thank you.
 

24.05.2011

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