The second NBCC Network meeting was held on June 9. On the agenda: Updates from the working committees on legal, finance and HR, and the Brazil strategy.
The turnout for the networking meeting was very good this Monday night, demonstrating a great commitment from the NBCC members. Many were present at an NBCC event for the very first time.
The main objective for the network meeting is to open the dialogue between the NBCC´s members and to discuss what they identify as matters of interest, with the aim of helping the board of the chamber to properly address these subjects and promote events that the members find relevant.
After a short introduction from NBCC president Halvard Idland all the present members were invited to speak during a round table session.
The Brazil strategy and relations to Norwegian politicians were some of the subjects explored by the members. Janis Majors of IM Executive Search wanted to know what has happened since the Norwegian Brazil strategy was launched in 2011.
Janis Majors from IM Executive Search.
Kjetil Solbrække is the responsible for the follow-up of the strategy in the NBCC board.
“We have had several discussions with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, with the Consulate and with our sister organization in Oslo, the BNCC. In my opinion, the outcome of the strategy is very positive, although it is difficult to point out any specific results. But let me mention the BN21 initiative, launched by the Ministry of Petroleum and Energy last year. An MOU on research collaboration was signed. We do however need to respect that this work takes time. As a consequence of the Brazil strategy, many Norwegian politicians have visited Brazil, and Brazil is higher on the agenda”, Mr. Solbrække argued.
Consul General Helle Klem said the strategy has been important because is has raised the focus and the awareness on Brazil.
“We have seen an increase in the bilateral engagement on the political level. A meeting of the economic commission was held in Oslo in May, and this is something that hasn´t happened in years. But there is still a lot to do, and we are still working on a maritime agreement between the two countries. The new minister of foreign affairs, who visited Brazil in February, guaranteed that the new government wants to follow up the strategy of the former government”, she said.
Still there were members that expressed dissatisfaction with the lack of political attention from Norway during a time where some Norwegian companies in Brazil are experiencing difficulties.
“Brazil is a key trading partner to Norway, but it doesn´t seem like they really grasp the importance of restoring confidence”, said Anders Kapstad of Panoro Energy.
The change of government in Norway last year and the upcoming presidential elections in Brazil this year, can however explain this, and NBCC president Halvard Idland assured the members that this is a constant priority to the board.
From the left: Paulo Sabino, Glorisabel Garrido and Marcelo Muller.“This definitely poses challenges. To raise political support for the issues that concern us is always on our agenda, and right now we are trying to get their attention for the Rio Oil & Gas event in September and we hope to have someone down for this event”, Halvard Idland said.
Work in progress
The status for the work of the three working committees on legal, finance and HR issues, was also presented to the members. The committees have held their first meetings, but the work is still in an early phase.
“The work of the committee will be shaped by the people participating and right now we have 16 people. It is a great environment to share ideas and problems”, said Marcelo Muller from the company Tridimensional, coordinator of the working committee on finance.
Paulo Sabino from DOF is coordinating the work of the committee on legal issues. He is accompanied by about 15 people in this committee.
“The purpose is to share information and discuss issues that concern us”, he said.
Ana Paula Alves from Siem Offshore is the coordinator of the committee on HR.
The committees were created as a result of suggestions made during the first NBCC networking meeting last year.
The meeting was followed by a cocktail on a hotel rooftop in Ipanema.“We are on a good track and will hear more from these committees. They were created to attend to issues of importance to the members, and your participation is very important. The purpose of the NBCC is to promote business and trade between Norway and Brazil and in order to make the NBCC more interesting to the members, we rely on your feedback and participation. We would like to continue improving our services to the members”, NBCC president Halvard Idland said.
The networking meeting was sponsored by IM Executive Search, Vard and Hydro, and before the rooftop cocktail, a video on the Hydro social project «Aluminio Infinito» was shown. The project is working to raise awareness about recycling in the state of Pará.
By Runa Hestmann, NBCC journalist