Building Ties with Brazil

by BTM

Tue, 05 March 2024

HE Adriano Pucci

In a bid to fortify bilateral relations between Brazil and Bahrain, HE Adriano Pucci has assumed the pivotal role of being his country’s first full ambassador to the Kingdom. As the two nations converge on the brink of new opportunities, he offered Kristian Harrison his insights and shared his aspirations of partnership and progress in the realms of trade, culture and diplomacy.

Your Excellency, thank you for the honour of granting us your first interview in Bahrain. Please can you give us an overview of your career journey to date, from your education to taking up your position as Ambassador here in Bahrain? 
The honour is all mine to be featured by this prestigious magazine. Well, my career has been very diverse, in terms of both destination countries and handled subjects. In more than three decades of foreign service, I’ve worked in New York, Caracas, Montevideo, Vatican City and Madrid. During my recent stay in Brazil, I held diverse positions, such as a United Nations Director, Ministry Spokesperson and Director of Administration. The pinnacle of this trajectory was undoubtedly my appointment as Ambassador to the Kingdom of Bahrain. 

What are your initial impressions of Bahrain now that you’ve had a few months to settle in? 
My high expectations regarding the Pearl of the Gulf have been fully confirmed. The hospitality of the people and the courtesy of the government are distinctive marks of the country, whose ancient history and culture I admire more as I learn more about them. These characteristics make it much easier to be so far from my homeland. Bahrainis and Brazilians may speak in different tongues, but they share the same language of openness to the world and fostering peace among nations. 

2024 represents the golden jubilee of the initial forging of relations between Bahrain and Brazil. How proud do you feel of this fact, and that you are the first resident Ambassador in the Kingdom? 
The Embassy was inaugurated just over two years ago. It is the newest Brazilian diplomatic mission among the 133 already established worldwide. My arrival in Manama, last September, is even more recent. I am aware of the great responsibility of being Brazil’s first resident ambassador ever in this Kingdom, since there are no second chances to make a first positive impression. We need to set a high diplomatic standard from the very beginning, and we shall do so. Inshallah! 

What is the current state of relations between Bahrain and Brazil? What are some of the key areas of cooperation between the two countries? 
The main challenge is to give substance to the multiple agreements and memoranda of understanding signed between various institutions not long ago. To that end, the Embassy is dedicated to facilitating contacts between governmental and private sector stakeholders. Brazil is prepared to contribute to Bahrain’s prosperity through cooperation in new technologies, infrastructure, sustainable development and, last but not least, food security.

What are some of the challenges facing the Bahrain-Brazil relationship, and how do you plan to address them? 
Our bilateral trade reached the figure of 1.4 billion dollars last year, a transaction volume that makes Brazil one of the main trading partners of Bahrain. On the other hand, we need to diversify those exchanges, so as to reduce the current exposure to commodity price fluctuations. This work is just beginning, with the arrival of multiple government, business and sports delegations. I am impressed by the level of demand from both sides. Most likely, this enormous potential was held back by the lack of a physical base for support and coordination in Manama. The Embassy comes to fill this important gap. 

What are some of your goals and ideas in terms of what you want to achieve with bilateral ties, both in the short and long term? 

Our main focus is on the fifth edition of the Bilateral Political Consultation Mechanism, scheduled to take place this September in Brasília. In this event, the two governments will take stock of the progress made until now and assess opportunities for strengthening friendship and cooperation between the two countries. In the short term, we will also coordinate with our Bahraini brothers for the celebration of the golden jubilee of diplomatic relations, dating back to 1974. Lastly, in regard to the broader horizon, the two foreign ministries have been designing an Action Plan that contemplates goals and objectives for the next five years. When approved, this document will map out the promising path ahead of us. 

Approximately how many Brazilians reside in Bahrain and in what fields do they work? 
The population of Brazilians in Bahrain is estimated at around 300 nationals, but that number may be higher. Our community is mainly composed of professionals who have chosen to build their lives in this beautiful country through hard work and with the joyful approach for which we are known. We will get to know the profile of our compatriots better in more detail when we inaugurate the consular service of the Embassy within a few months. The human and material resources to enable its operation are being obtained with a sense of urgency. I am confident that soon the Embassy will be able to welcome Brazilian citizens and expedite visa issuance for Bahrainis traveling to Brazil. 

On a more light-hearted note, what does an ambassador do in his spare time, if he has any? What hobbies do you enjoy?
I don’t understand your question. What is spare time? 

In all seriousness, I try to do some exercise, so that I can enjoy the wonderful restaurants in Manama guilt-free! I also plan, during breaks, to explore this part of the world more with Karina, my wife, who also works at the embassy as a counsellor. 

Anything more to add?
Yes. I know Bahrainis love football as much as we do. So I promise to your distinguished readers that I will do my best to organise the arrival of Brazilian soccer players and teams in the near future. It’s the least I can offer as a token of gratitude to Bahrain. Shukran!