Norway and Brazil: Closer than They Look

We can hardly visualize how different daily life is when comparing Brazil with Norway. How long have you been working and living in Oslo? How do you like it here?

I have been in Norway for 4 years and 3 months. Previously, I had missions in London, Lisbon, Washington, UN in New York, and worked as embassy of Israel. I am about to finish my career here and will head to Hungary. Norway was an extra ordinary experience for me. I am very proud to witness and be part of the wonderful relationship build in this period. I have to tell that Norway and Brazil are not that different in many aspects. Both countries have enthusiastic, friendly and tolerant people. So, I do not feel alienated here.

Brazil has just reached the status of eighth economy in the world. What ingredients of this marvelous, rich and vast country of almost 200 million inhabitants made the success of Brazil?

I can say commitment, hard working, and enthusiasm are the main ingredients of this success.

Brazil has one of the most cosmopolitan populations in the world, integrating Brazilians of Arabic, Jewish, Japanese, German, Portuguese or French descent as well as a significant proportion of its black population that was sailed from Africa. It appears that Brazil has been able to convert this noticeable heterogeneity into a major strength. What is your country’s secret?

I think this is strength of Brazil. Brazil is a real exemplary country of diversity. I, for instance, I have Indian, African and European blood but I am proudly Brazilian. We were open to receive Arabs, Jews and Japanese in an environment of freedom. Everybody has constitutional rights and religious freedom in Brazil and can proudly say we are Brazilian. We freely discuss everything and solve everything in a peaceful manner. This peaceful co-existence is Brazil’s strength and tradition.

What is the current level of relationship between Norway and Brazil?

Brazil and Norway enjoy a century-old friendship. In 1905, Brazil becomes one of the first five countries to recognize the Kingdom of Norway. Since then two countries developed growing business and trading ties and exchanged experience in many areas. Bilateral trade and investments have contributed to the prosperity of both countries and made Brazil the largest economic partner for Norway in Latin America while Norway became the main destination of Brazilian exports to the Nordic countries.

The high level official contacts add an important political support to the dynamism of Brazil and Norway’s business and civil society relationship. Thanks to the hard work and the technology of their companies, the two countries contribute to meet global challenges in energy and food security. They also produce metals of strategic importance for modern industry. Their ingenuity increases and improves shipbuilding construction and the safety of both countries off-shore operations.

What brings two countries so close to each other?

In his address to Prime Minister Stoltenberg at the luncheon in Akershus, during the State Visit, President Lula expressed how Brazilians see Norway, and I quote: “Norway is an admirable country not only for its natural beauties or the saga of its navigators and explorers, but also and most of all by being an example to the world for the humanist and egalitarian spirit of its society”. He also referred to the Norwegian people’s vocation for freedom and Norway’s efforts for peace and reconciliation as a source of inspiration worldwide. So Brazil sees Norway as a friend and a partner in the pursuit of common objectives.

This growing bilateral and multilateral involvement is based on important shared values, such as democracy, the rule of law, respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms, a strong commitment to peaceful settlement of disputes and to international cooperation, multilateralism and sustainable development. Despite the geographical distance that separates them, Brazil and Norway have become closer as we uphold these principles and ideals, which guide our policies and actions.

In which specific areas do you cooperate with Norway?

Cooperation areas-Brazilian Norwegian interests are being developed in areas of global reach such as energy, maritime services, environment and climate change. In the areas of education and culture, bilateral cooperation is also becoming ever more significant. We see our growing partnership with Norway as an asset in our efforts and capacity to effectively tackle global challenges through diplomacy and international cooperation.

How do you see the future of this cooperation?

Brazil’s relations with Norway will remain strong as a consequence of their solid foundation and the convergence of political and economic interests. The growing number of Norwegian companies in Brazil and Brazilian firms in Norway should contribute to ensure the success of this endeavour. The expanding network of governmental and institutional agreements provides the legal framework for reinforcing the long lasting bond of friendship between our two nations.

You are about to leave for another mission in another country, after so long period of stay here in Norway, what will you remember about Norway? What will be your wish?

What most amazed me about Norway was Norwegian people’s celebrating their national day so enthusiastically. It was a real enjoyment. This is something I and my wife will never forget. Another moment which was striking was the mood during the World Ski Championship in Oslo. Engagement of whole Norwegian population, in sense of festival, was an extra ordinary situation for me.

As a conclusion, I would like express my sole concern. You know Brazil will host the World Cup and Norway has never lost against Brazil in football. Therefore, I would like to see Norway and Brazil would play in the same group in the World Cup but at the same time, I am fearful that Norway will beat us in our home.

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