Brazil honours Eivind Reiten

February 28, 2002, 09:00 CET

Brazil's ambassador to Norway has presented Hydro's president and CEO, Eivind Reiten, with the Rio Branco order. "This is an honour, not only for me, but a tribute to all Hydro employees who have worked to establish our relationship with Brazil," Reiten said.

The order of Rio Branco which Brazil's ambassador to Norway, Luiz António Jardim Gagliardi, presented Eivind Reiten with at a ceremony yesterday, is awarded to Brazilians and foreigners who have made a special contribution to the country - in areas like culture, science and industry.
The order is named after Barão do Rio Branco, Brazil's minister of foreign affairs from 1902 to 1912, famous for his role in negotiating the national borders of Brazil.

In his speech Reiten said that the order was not only an honour for him, but a recognition of people in Hydro who for many years have worked to establish a good relationship with Brazil. It is also a tribute to our Brazilian partners, Reiten said: "It takes two to tango."

25 years

Hydro established its office in Brazil 25 years ago.

"We started slowly, in the Hydro manner, but not quietly," Reiten said, referring to Hydro's share in the mining company Mineração do Rio Norte (MRN) which initially was much critizised in Norway. "Today, however, MRN's bauxite mining is a star performance," Reiten said - "not only commercially but also in relation to the environement."

Reiten also touched upon the challenges Brazil has faced during the last years.

"The currency fluctuations have caused us some headaches, but we have learnt how to handle them," Reiten said, complimenting the Brazilian government on having taken the initiative to stabilize the currency. "Brazil is moving in the right direction," he said.

Last year, Hydro's turnover in Brazil was more than NOK 4 billion (500 million US dollars). The company has 1,100 employees in Brazil, and has until now invested more than NOK 3 billion (USD 350 million) in the country.