The Brazilian invasion of Nor-Shipping


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King Harald V of Norway was present for the official opening of the 50th edition of Nor-Shipping on June 2, 2015. A 60 people strong Brazilian delegation made its mark on the Oslo event this week.

Together with Abran, Norwegian Shipowners´Association, BNCC, Innovation Norway, Intsok, NHO and other important players, NBCC took part in organizing the program of activities for the Brazilian participants at the global maritime event, representing key companies and stakeholders like Petrobras, Statoil, Subsea 7, BG, BNDES, Finep, Abeam, Kincaid, Vard, DNV GL and many others.

Nor-Shipping is actually the longest running event of its kind in the world, and in 2015, the event is celebrating the 50th anniversary. Norway is also considered a global maritime hub, in control of the fifth largest merchant fleet in the world. Nor-Shipping is the largest such event of the year, not only in Scandinavia, but also in Europe. The presence  of King Harald V of Norway, prime minister Erna Solberg, and major actors on the world´s shipping stage, like IMO Secretary General Koji Sekimizu and globalization expert Anil Gupta only underlines the importance of the event.
On June 3, 2015, different sessions on Brazil took place. The Brazil@Nor-Shipping is new in 2015, and the program was set up to provide insights into the risks and rewards of doing business in Brazil. Every fourth offshore support vessel in Brazilian waters is Norwegian.

 «It is so good to be here. It is important for us to be present here in Norway to explain a little bit about Brazil, even though the current situation is complicated. But we are going to make it, and I see Norway as an excellent partner to Brazil in developing our shipping and oil industry», NBCC president Camila Mendes Vianna Cardoso said in a comment on the opening day.

«There is no doubt that the heavy Brazilian presence at Nor-Shipping 2015 is important», Mrs. Katarina Sætersdal, representing the Norwegian Confederation of Enterprise (NHO), says.

«This initiative, Brazil@Norshipping, is of great significance, especially in a turbulent period where Brazil is suffering from the corruption scandal, low oil prices and lower investments. It is very important to show Brazil from a positive side, and the fact that so many Brazilian delegates are present here, demonstrates that the opportunities for a continued cooperation between Norwegian and Brazilian companies still are very big», Mrs. Sætersdal says.

According to NBCC Vice President Erik Hannisdal, it is vital to increase the visibility of Brazil and the great potential in the Brazilian offshore and maritime sectors, especially in turbulent times like these.

«It is important to put Brazil back on the map. In the current market, and in light of the recent corruption scandal as well as the falling oil prices, Brazil has become less attractive to foreign investors. We need to make the world understand that Brazil still has enormous reserves. Petrobras is about to release its updated business plan and I expect this plan to show that business areas like upstream and offshore, areas where Norwegian stakeholders have an active participation, are areas that will not suffer reductions of significance. As Brazil pushes through this crisis, Norwegian companies, struggling in the domestic market, will turn to Brazil again, and I expect this to happen as early as in 2016», Mr. Hannisdal says.

«This initiative of bringing the Brazilian spirit to Norway is a unique opportunity to strengthen the ties of friendship between our countries. We are contributing to building bridges, and we are very proud that our initiative has the support of so many important partners», Mr. José Roberto Neves, Abran chairman and head of Solstad Offshore in Brazil, comments.

The maritime capital of the world
On June 1, 2015, the mayor of Oslo, Mr. Fabian Stang, hosted a reception in the City Hall. More than 350 people were present, and Mr. Stang welcomed the delegates to Oslo, and cracked jokes about the cold Norwegian summer weather, only about 10 degrees and strong winds on the Nor-Shipping opening day.

Mr. Sturla Henriksen, CEO of Norwegian Shipowners´Association, and Vidar Pederstad, the event director, also addressed the delegates at the reception.

«Norway is a leading maritime nation, and this week, Mr. Fabian Stang is mayor of the maritime capital of the world. Oslo will receive 35.000 delegates and a number of conferences, workshops and social events will take place», Mr. Henriksen said.

«I would like to extend a special welcome to our foreign guests. More than 80 countries will be represented at Nor-Shipping this year». Mr. Pederstad said.

Deputy Minister Dilek Ayhan was also present for the reception at the City Hall, where she reunited with many of the key Brazilian players she met during her visit to Brazil in May.

Open house
The first day of the busy Nor-Shipping week also featured a barbecue at the residence of the Brazilian ambassador to Norway, Mr. Flávio Helmold Macieira, and his wife, Josiane Pacheco Cotrim Macieira.

The barbecue was organized by the Brazilian-Norwegian Chamber of commerce in Oslo, for the members and friends of the BNCC. To the Brazilian ambassador, Mr. Macieira, it is rewarding to receive such a big delegation in Oslo.

«For us, from the Brazilian Embassy in Oslo, the presence in the Nor-Shipping expo of such an important and representative maritime delegation from Brazil is a mostly important and much expected moment. It highlights the dynamic drive prevailing in the Brazilian-Norwegian relationship and recalls the force of the Brazilian economy and the investment opportunities that it generates. It reveals once more that the bilateral links are strong and strategic, and are bound to last long and keep reinforcing. More than 120 Norwegian companies are already established in Brazil, and many of them participate actively in the adventure of the exploitation of the Brazilian enormous pre-salt oil and gas reserves. That only proves how much our relationship is special. I most heartily congratulate the NBCC and the BNCC for the successful organization of the trip», Mr. Macieira said during the reception.

BNCC president Harald Martinsen was co-hosting the Brazilian barbecue, together with ambassador Macieira and his wife. He sees Nor-Shipping as an important arena for networking and bringing people together.

 «We are very happy to see so many key representatives present in Oslo. This is something we have been working for, and demonstrates the mutual interest, in both countries to develop the business relations between Norway and Brazil even further. Key stakeholders are coming together at Nor-Shipping», Mr. Martinsen says.

His predecessor, BNCC president Terje Staalstrøm was also present at the barbecue.

«There is no quick-fix for the problems we are experiencing at the moment. Norwegian companies need to take the long term view, show loyalty and solidarity, and as the market turns around, they will will be rewarded for their loyalty», Mr. Staalstrøm says.

Monday morning, board members of both NBCC and BNCC came together to further discuss the strengthening of the cooperation between the two chambers.

More than 1000 exhibitors were present at Nor-Shipping 2015, from 80 different countries. 19 national pavilions were part of the exhibition, and a total of 35.000 delegates were expected for the numerous events. Several NBCC member companies and other Norwegian companies active in Brazil, were represented at the exhibition with their own stands. Kongsberg, DNV GL, Jotun, DNB, Vard, Wilhelmsen Ships Service, Ulstein, Scana, Harding, Norsafe, Blue Water Shipping, Air France KLM, GIEK, Innovation Norway, Lufthansa, Palfinger, Star Information Systems, Tess, Kleven, NOV, Rolls-Royce as well as BNCC member Wikborg Rein, are only a few examples.



By Runa Hestmann, NBCC journalist