I have the pleasure to share the results our companies achieved in 2003 with the Odebrecht Group’s members and audiences. These results mark the consolidation of yet another growth cycle in the organization’s history.
Continued growth is one of the hallmarks of Odebrecht’s trajectory. In the state of Bahia in 1944, my father, Norberto Odebrecht, founded the individually owned contracting firm that would give rise to the Odebrecht Group. At first, the company’s operations were restricted to the state capital, Salvador, and the rest of Bahia. Then, in the 1960s, it started expanding into other parts of Brazil.
In the following years, the company grew exponentially, and our entrepreneurs established a presence in South America, Africa, Europe, Asia, North America and Central America. This geographic expansion was accompanied by major investments in Chemicals & Petrochemicals, which the Group began making in 1979. In 2002 that process culminated in the creation of Braskem S.A., the Brazilian petrochemical giant of our dreams.
Today, we have reached our 60th anniversary as a Brazilian multinational with commanding market shares in Latin America’s Engineering & Construction and Chemicals & Petrochemicals industries.
Just as we visualize new growth opportunities, so we are also aware of our increasing social responsibilities. We must keep one of our driving ideas alive on every contract we win and every project we build: that of being a decisive agent for sustainable development in the communities and countries where we are present.
A challenge of this magnitude calls for unshakable boldness and determination. It also necessitates an open mind to break our paradigms and adapt to different ways of living and working. Above all, it requires the perception that our past is the source that feeds our learning on the path ahead.
Our history and the experiences it encompasses are a living heritage of lessons learned, crises and victories, encouragement and self-esteem. Therefore, we are celebrating our 60 years with pride and the conviction that the more we learn and experience, the better we will be able to take action and look to the future with optimism and confidence.
Our third-generation entrepreneurs are now at the head of our businesses. They were handed the helm of the Group’s subsidiaries after undergoing a process of planned and harmonious succession that attests to our entrepreneurial maturity.
We have a strong culture of work and education – our own entrepreneurial technology, which enables us to decentralize our businesses and operations. We have highly qualified teams and a solid capital structure. Our subsidiaries are poised for yet another cycle of growth in Brazil and worldwide. Survival is our task. Growth is our calling. The Perpetuity of our ideas is like a forest, where the trees renew themselves to keep the forest alive and healthy.