Message of Brazilian Ambassadress in Switzerland

11/04/2006
Celina Maria Assumpção do Valle Pereira

Annual Report 2006; pag. 23
The Swiss-Brazilian Chamber of Commerce has once more given me the pleasure to write some lines addressing the Chamber’s members in its Annual Report. I will take the opportunity to give you a concise report of the most important activities held in 2005 by the Brazilian Embassy in Bern, all of which aimed at fostering economic and commercial cooperation between Brazil and Switzerland.

The first important event of the year occurred in January 2006, when the illustrious Brazilian President, accompanied by Federal Ministers and representatives of the govern-ment’s economic team, as well as Brazilian entrepreneurs, came to Switzerland to participate in the World Economic Forum held in the city of Davos. Besides attending the WEF, President Lula da Silva went to Geneva, where he participated in a meeting with Swiss companies, including both the country’s traditional investment partners, such as Nestlé, Novartis, Holcim, ABB, Schindler and UBS, and investors recently attracted to the Brazilian market, such as STMicroelectronics.

In another event, on May 5, I had the pleasure to speak to SWISSCAM’s members about the status of the commercial relationship between Brazil and Switzerland. The Brazilian and Swiss entrepreneurs who attended the event clearly reaffirmed their great interest and determination in strength-ening the commercial relations between both countries.

In 2005, we could see the importance and relevance of the support given by the Brazilian Embassy in Bern to the initiatives of the Chamber. One of such initiatives was the seminar “Brazilian Hospitality Industry: Opportunities for Daring Young Entrepreneurs”, held in the cities of Zurich and Lausanne in April (a SWISSCAM initiative in partnership with SOFI, Swiss Organization for Facilitating Investment. Moreover, both the Brazilian Embassy in Bern and SWISS-CAM jointly organized a number of events sponsored by third parties to promote bilateral trade. The Federation of Foreign Chambers of Commerce, for instance, held the ‘Brazil-Switzerland Bilateral Seminar on Foreign Trade and Investments’ in the city of Rio de Janeiro in June. The event was co-sponsored by the Ministry of Development, Industry, and Foreign Trade; the Brazilian Trade Federation; the International Chamber of Commerce, and the Brazilian Association of Foreign Trade.

It is also important to mention that, in the second half of 2005, we had three other major events promoting the strengthening of trade relations between Brazil and Switzerland. In September, a large Brazilian delegation visited the Nanotechnology Exhibition in Saint Gall and participated in a number of activities related to the Seminar ‘Nanotechnology: Partnership Brazil-Switzerland’, coordinated by the Swiss ‘Business Hub Brazil’ (Sao Paulo), affiliated to the Business Network Switzerland. The event highlighted the need for Brazil and Switzerland to go ahead with the negotiations to sign a new scientific and technological cooperation agreement. The Brazilian delegation present at the Saint Gall exhibition relied on the support and the participation of representatives of the Ministry of Foreign Relations; the Ministry of Development, Industry and Foreign Trade; and the Ministry of Science and Technology. Other supporters were the Brazilian Agency for Industrial Development (ABDI), the Superintendence of the Free Trade Zone in Manaus; the Agency for Promotion of Exports and Investments (APEX); the Federal Bank for Economic and Social Development (BNDES); and the Federal Association of Incubated Businesses and Technological Parks (ANPROTEC).

Last October, Mr. Roberto Rodrigues, the Brazilian Minister of Agriculture and Supply was in Zurich, where he participated in two events aimed at promoting a stronger economic cooperation between Brazil and Switzerland. The minister made a speech addressed to the members of the Latin American Chamber of Commerce about: ‘Brazilian Agribusiness in the Perspective of International Negotiations and Biofuel‘. During his visit to Switzerland, Mr. Rodrigues was also head of the road show ‘Brazilian Cotton Lint & Cotton Tour First Class 2005’ to promote Brazil’s cotton industry and exports, which was organized by various associations representing the Brazilian cotton industry.

I would like to thank the Swiss-Brazilian Chamber of Commerce for publishing this message in its Annual Report. With this report of the activities organized in 2005,

I wish to highlight once more that the events held during the year focused primarily on promoting stronger bilateral economic relations, and I also wish to recognize the efforts invested by the various organizations which worked together to fulfill this objective. Finally, I reaffirm the compromise the Brazilian Embassy in Bern has to continue working together with SWISSCAM to fulfill our common goals. My best wishes to this Chamber of Commerce, its technical and administrative staff, and its members. May your efforts consolidate and narrow the already dynamic, traditional, and growing economic relationship between Brazil and Switzerland be successful and fruitful.