More than 40 members of BNCC were present in a breakfast meeting at NHO premises in Olso. The Norwegian Ambassador to Brazil, Nils Marting Gunneng shared his impressions with the audience regarding the Brazilian economic and political situation. The Head of Global Public Affairs at Norsk Hydro, Gustav Saastad presented the case Barcarena. Also, Chargé de Affaires Silvana Polich had an intervention about the next General Elections, which will take place in October in Brazil.
Gunneng presented his first impressions about Brazil to BNCC and NHO members in February this year. Back then, Brazil was under recession and is currently going through a deep depression. The Brazilian economic recovery is not yet guaranteed. The ambassador explained his overview on interconnected political and economic factors that play a role in the restoration of the country.
A lower income achieved millions of families in the country. Today the population is power than in 10 years ago, reaching higher levels of inequality. A critical trucker’s strike this year sliced Brazil's growth and brought a vast consequence to the economy. The inabilities of the current government to make the necessary policy adjustment and October’s election have also contributed to undermining the recovery of the country.
The ambassador presented his perspectives for the next Brazilian general election, which will take place in October. Imprisoned former Brazilian president, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, has a growing popularity and raised the possibility of Lula’s running could ultimately become the new president. Brazilian law forbids the candidacy of a corrupt convicted, as is Lula’s case. Far-right candidate Jair Bolsonaro is in second place, and environmentalist Marina Silva is third. Excluding Lula as a candidate, anything can happen, depending on how the 39% votes intentions for Lula will be transferred to his running mate and former mayor of São Paulo, Fernando Haddad, Jair Bolsonaro and Marina Silva.
The ambassador pointed as well the power of social media in the campaign. However, as reminded by him, only 50% of Brazil’s population has regular access to the Internet. TV advertising time will play an essential role in the campaign. Center-right candidate Geraldo Alkmin, who remain stuck behind other candidates, will have more TV advertising time than any other candidate, due to his large coalition.
From the business perspective, the ambassador spotted Norway’s investment in Brazil. According to him, a Norwegian company can bring much more than investments to Brazil. Moreover, know-how, technology, Norwegian companies can potentially contribute with their strong values, such as zero tolerance for corruption, gender equality, security and safety and environmental protection. Plus, Brazilian companies owned by Norwegians also generate taxes to the country, concluded the ambassador.
He summarized the Brazilian-Norwegian partnership, and the Amazon Fund achieved progress in reducing deforestation in the rainforest. The Norwegian contributions have supported deforestation monitoring, environmental policy, and sustainable development for indigenous peoples and other inhabitants in the Amazon forest.
The Ambassador gave the floor to the Head of Public Affairs of Norsk Hydro, Gustav Saastad, who presented the main findings of the situation in Hydro’s plant Alunorte in Barcarena, Pará.
At the end of the meeting, Minister Silvana Polich, from the Brazilian Embassy highlighted three crucial points to the Ambassador’s perspective. Brazil is facing its 7th direct national elections after the fall of the military dictatorship. All of them were legitimate, what shows a maturity of the Brazilian Democracy. The next election will also choose members of the Congress. The new Congress is highly essential to take into consideration because the support of the Congress is fundamental to the job of the president. Regardless of the results of elections, the economy is picking up and Brazil still being a country full of attributes and opportunities.
After the presentations, a Q&A session was open to the audience. Rich discussions took place, with representatives from academia, civil society, public and private sectors.
Katarina Sætersdal (NHO), Haakon Gram-Johannessen (UD),
Minister Silvana Polich (Brazilian Embassy), Ambassador Nils Gunneng
(Norwegian Embassy in Brasilia) and Gustav Saastad (Hydro).
By Larissa Costa Slottet, BNCC
More than 30 leader members of BNCC and Oslo Shipowners Association gathered at NSA’s premises in Oslo to the second Executive Dialogue co-organized by the Chamber, with an inspiring guest speaker, the Brazilian CEO of Aker Solutions, Luis Araujo. The chairman of Oslo Shipowners Association and board member of BNCC, Aage Thoen welcomed the audience and the guest speaker.
Luis Araujo was named CEO of Aker Solutions in July 2014 after joining Aker Solutions in 2011 as president for the company’s Brazilian operation. The Brazilian has broad experience with almost 35 years in the oil and gas industry, including senior positions in GE, Wellstream, ABB and FMC Technologies. He is a mechanical engineer from Gama Filho University in Brazil and MBA from the University of Edinburg in Scotland. Luis Araujo lives in Oslo with his wife and their two 17 years old boys.
Araujo, in his engaging dialogue style, shared his perspective on the scenario for the industry when he became CEO, which faced companies with very high costs and prices of oil close to US$ 30 a barrel. He explained that keep a focus on the growth is a great way to go, for example, finding and exploring new reserves, investing in new technologies and innovation. The CEO of Aker Solutions presented his journey through challenging times, since his first mission to here, and brought to the audience many histories, which exemplified his leadership and management styles.
During the dialogue, he inspired the leaders explained that he faced a hard first mission in the position, where he dismissed more than 600 employees in Norway and 8000 globally. Although it was hard letting so many people out, a flatter structure was an essential step to cut and avoid costs and make their operations more efficient, though digitalization. The CEO also highlighted one of Aker's current strategies, that is to be closer to their costumes, responding quicker and delivering better results.
Luis Araujo also shared many other topics with the audience, such as his view about environmental compliance, the future of fossil fuel, new solutions, and his overview about a prominent client in the Brazilian market, Petrobrás.
Luis Araujo inspired the attendees with his charismatic personality, good humor, his histories, experiences, and advice. "There is an opportunity behind every crisis," and " it is essential not imposing a culture into another. One has to understand Brazil as Brazil is," said the executive.
At the end of the meeting, the attendees had the opportunity ask questions to the CEO. A mingling session took place, where members of BNCC and OSA could meet and exchange experiences.