Nosso Maurício, shared values and the need to innovate. Business between Brazil and the Netherlands: past, present and future.’
Speech by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Uri Rosenthal, at the University of São Paulo on 28 May 2012
Professor Basso, Your Excellencies, ladies and gentlemen,
I am pleased to have the honour of addressing you. And I’m delighted to be meeting with the future political, economic and moral leaders of this great country. But before we look ahead, I would like to go back in time for a moment.
In the course of history there have been many men called Maurits. But for the Dutch and Brazilians, only one of them is their Maurits. In Brazil, Dutchman Johan Maurits van Nassau-Siegen is known as nosso Maurício: our Maurits. In the 17th century he was governor of Pernambuco, where his tolerant attitude, his spirit of enterprise and his faith in science endeared him to all. Your ancestors called him the ‘humanist Prince’. He is still one of the best-known Dutchmen in Brazil.