This week the first NBCC Member Network Meeting in the history of the chamber took place at Hotel Ipanema Plaza in Rio de Janeiro.
The main objective of the meeting on October 17 was the promotion of a closer dialogue between NBCC member companies. The NBCC board would like to give the members an opportunity to express and discuss opinions and matters of interest, something that would also enable the board itself to properly address these subjects and even promote events that the members find more relevant.
“This first event is actually a pilot, and the purpose is to promote a broader dialogue between the members and the board, and also to discover what the members expect from the chamber, as well as enlighten them on what the chamber is and can offer to its members”, NBCC chairman Paulo Rolim says.
At the very first edition of the network meeting on October 17, the board presented the latest updates on actions taken and planned by the chamber.
Mr. Rolim made a brief introduction of the chamber and the main objectives of the NBCC, established in the bylaws.
“The chamber has grown constantly the last years, from 25 to about 100 members, and we noticed a certain lack of knowledge about the objectives of the chamber. The NBCC is a non-profit and non-political entity and our objective is to promote trade and goodwill between Norway and Brazil, not between specific companies, neither in specific industries”, Mr. Rolim said.
He encouraged the members to participate more actively in the running of the chamber, and launched the idea of creating working groups to deal with topics of interest to the members. Mr. Rolim emphasized that anyone interested in being a part of the NBCC board should step forward as everyone is welcome and a certain turnover is a good thing.
Mr. Jon Harald Kilde, who is currently a board member, presented the trip to Brasilia organized by the NBCC and Swedcham in May.
“We had good discussions with important decision makers and it was a positive surprise how much time some of them dedicated to us”, he said.
The board members on the event panel also presented an initiative taken to demonstrate to GIEK how important export financing is to the Norwegian supply industry in Brazil. Sete Brasil has applied for export credit at the agency, but the negotiations have been difficult.
“After this common initiative taken by the NBCC and the General Consulate, several GIEK representatives came to Brazil where they met with all the local players, with suppliers, operators and offshore companies, to get a better understanding of the temperature in the Brazilian market. The NBCC made an important contribution, and this is a good example on how the chamber can work for the benefit of all and also protect the relationship between Norway and Brazil. It is a market based on credit and Norwegian suppliers have always won a lot of contracts in Brazil. It would be a pity if other players were given the chance to take this bite of the market and fill in the blanks at this point”, Mr. Rolim said.
The Norwegian Consul General in Rio de Janeiro, Mrs. Helle Klem, presented the Brazil strategy that was launched by the Norwegian government in 2011, and talked about the initiatives taken so far.
An economic commission has been established, and a MOU on energy will probably be signed later this year. The two governments are also working on a bilateral maritime agreement
“The strategy is filled with content every day, and it is more than just a paper. It is a tool and a compass giving our work direction”, Helle Klem said.
After the presentations, the members were invited to present their thoughts, ideas and suggestions, and they all seemed to appreciate the initiative and the chance for a closer dialogue with the NBCC board and with other members.
At the end of the event, participants were invited for a cocktail on the hotel rooftop, to give them the opportunity to do some networking in the more old-fashioned way over a soft drink or a caipirinha.
By Runa Hestmann Tierno, NBCC journalist