Norway’s Official Brazil Strategy – An update of Implementation Progress

On November 7th the Norwegian Foreign Ministry (MFA) invited to a meeting in Brasil Forum to inform about progress in the implementation of actions defined in the official Norwegian Brazil Strategy, launched in March 2011.  The meeting was opened by Deputy Minister Torgeir Larsen. Representatives of 5 other ministries were present, indicating the importance Norway places on the relations with Brazil.

The Norwegian Government's strategy for cooperation between Brazil and NorwayThe Brazil Strategy is available by clicking on the picture.

This meeting was the first Brazil Forum held and attendants represented business, academia and various interest organizations. An inter-ministerial working group under the chairmanship of MFA set up to coordinate the interests of the different Norwegian ministries involved, reported on progress within their areas. Most important, the attendants were encouraged to state their views and specially point out where they believed more should be done.

Both BNCC and NBCC were represented and expressed views of the private business communities in Brazil and Norway.

Information received from the official representatives and input given by the invited participants included:

  • Political consultations at Deputy Minister level will be held in Oslo on December 19th.
  • Due to sudden resignation of Deputy Minister Ingebrigtsen, last week’s planned visit by NHD to Brazil is postponed until February 2013.
  • Bi-lateral Maritime Agreement proposed by Norway still under consideration in Brasilia.
  • Bi-lateral Custom Agreement to be signed on December 19th.
  • Cooperation on energy research between OED and its counterparts in Brazil is progressing well. Working Groups established in both countries.
  • Release of funds from Norway’s contribution to the Amazon Fund now increasing as Brazil is reducing deforestation. No Norwegian involvement in projects approved by BNDES.
  • Agreement on cooperation in higher education signed between Norway (SiU) and Brazil (Capes).  Brazilians expected to study for both Master and Doctorates in Norway from next year.
  • Latin-America Research Program coordinated by Norwegian Research Council will focus on Brazil in 2013. Many interesting proposals received. But bi-lateral cooperation moves slowly.
  • Cooperation on fishery management and aquaculture growing. Norway will participate in AquaPesca exhibition in Brazil in 2013.
  • Eksportkreditt/GIEK plan to increase to $ 2 B the amount available for Norwegian exports to Petrobras.
  • BNCC President raised issue of visa and working permits. Delays and unpredictability are concerns and cost issues for Norwegian companies. Reference was made to bi-lateral agreements Brazil have with other countries, like France, to ease the process.

The meeting was considered useful to all parties and will be repeated next year.