The Minister of Foreign Affairs of Norway, Børge Brende, met with the Norwegian business community in Rio de Janeiro on the occasion of his visit to Brazil, on 19th February 2014.
Børge Brende stated that he was content to visit the country once again and meet with the Norwegian business community, well represented on the occasion by several company representatives.
Ricardo Fernandes, Executive Director of ABRAN, presented some key points on behalf of the Norwegian shipping community. In his intervention Fernandes highlighted the remarkable presence of Norwegian controlled vessels on the Brazilian continental shelf, 1 out of every 4 vessels; the accelerated growth of the Brazilian Offshore Service Vessel Fleet in the last decade; and introduced ABRAN´s project, describing its main objective: “to foster coordination of Norwegian shipowners in Brazil and to contribute to a sustainable and profitable business environment within the country”.
Also, Fernandes expressed ABRAN´s hope that a bilateral maritime agreement between Norway and Brazil could be concluded in the near future, affirming that this would certainly bring greater predictability to the Norwegian shipping companies investing in Brazil.
Lack of qualified workforce
Fernandes presented as a main challenge the lack of sufficiently qualified employees as an issue common to all industries, emphasizing that specialized and senior seafarers are particularly important to the shipping companies. He mentioned that the Norwegian maritime community represented by ABRAN will undertake a feasibility study towards establishing a Norwegian simulator center in Brazil that could contribute to solve this issue. Mr. Fernandes expressed that it is very important that this project is now clearly included in the bilateral BN21 Agenda, providing a Government platform that is very helpful. Finally, Fernandes expressed his hopes for sustained assistance from the Foreign Service as this project progresses.