Business lunch with Norway´s Deputy Minister

The board of ABRAN had the pleasure of receiving the Norwegian Deputy Minister of Trade, Industry and Fisheries, Ms. Dilek Ayhan, for a business luncheon in Rio de Janeiro on May 18, 2015.


The meeting was described as both productive and rewarding by the board members present during the luncheon, held at the Esplanada Grill in Ipanema, Rio de Janeiro. Brazilian beef and caipirinha was served, something the Deputy Minister seemed to enjoy.


Ms. Dilek Ayhan was head of the Norwegian delegation going to Brasilia to the annual consultations in the Joint Economic Commission in May, an important forum discussing topics of great relevance to the Norwegian Brazilian business community. 


Before going to Brasília on May 19 and 20, 2015, she met with important Norwegian stakeholders in Rio de Janeiro, and during the luncheon with ABRAN on May 18, she received important input on the activities and challenges that Norwegian shipowners in Brazil are experiencing.


«Thank you for inviting me to this wonderful venue. I would like to learn more about the challenges you experience and the opportunities you see, and I also appreciate your participation in the political consultations in Brasilia this week. The purpose is to get you in touch with the right Brasilia officials», Ms. Ayhan said.


Norwegian shipping companies are highly appreciated by the Brazilian seafarers and clients, due to their strong commitment with its people, with safety and performance. 


«We hope our meeting contributed to improving the Deputy Minister´s  knowledge about our main challenges and also the great opportunities that our country offers», ABRAN chairman José Roberto Neves said in his address to the Deputy Minister and her delegation. The Norwegian Consul General in Rio de Janeiro, Mrs. Helle Klem was also present for the lunch.


In the meeting, the guests had the chance to present an overview of the development of the shipping market in Brazil, their expectations and challenges and how they would like Norwegian authorities to contribute to bringing more predictability to the shipowners operating in Brazil.


Difficulties in finding qualified manpower, the lack of flexibility in local laws and regulations, bureaucracy, the strong Brazilian unions, visa and immigration rules, difficulties in finding spare parts for the vessels and local content were some of the challenges discussed during the luncheon.


The 13 ANP auction round to be held in October 2015 and the long-term contracts offered in Brazil was highlighted as positive in the Brazilian market. The ABRAN board also suggested a greater degree of exchange and cooperation on training of personnel between Norway and Brazil.


«With the crisis hitting the global oil and offshore industry, Brazil is probably an even more attractive market today, due to the activity level and the long-term contracts offered», Mr. Helge Austbø, ABRAN board member and head of DOF Brasil, said. 


«We expect 2015 to be a tough year, but have to be patient and take a long-term view on Brazil», Mr. Hans Elllingsen, ABRAN board member and manager of Olympic Shipping, said.


The Deputy Minister assured that she would bring the input from ABRAN with her to the political talks in Brasilia, and also announced that she has cleared her schedule to receive the Brazilian delegation in Oslo for the Nor-Shipping Expo in June. 


ABRAN will be heavily represented in this delegation, and according to chairman José Roberto Neves, the ABRAN representatives are very excited about participating at this important maritime event.


«We are really looking forward to participating at the 50th anniversary of Nor-Shipping, and for the first time ever, we are organizing a Brazilian Day during the event. I am convinced that our presence and dedication will contribute to improving even more the close relationship between our two countries», Mr. Neves says.


By Runa Hestmann