Brazil country brief

Australia and Brazil enjoy close relations with strong trade and investment ties.

Key engagement

Trade and investment, agriculture and water management, education-related services, resources and energy, research and innovation, people-to-people links.

Outlook

President Jair Bolsonaro and his government took office on 1 January 2019. Opportunities for enhanced Australian economic engagement as Brazil emerges from recession.

Bilateral relations

Brazil is one of Australia’s largest trading partners in Latin America, with a two-way trade of $3,590 million (2018). Australia and Brazil cooperate multilaterally in the UN and the G20 and on issues of mutual interest such as agricultural trade reform through the Cairns Group and the WTO. People-to-people links are growing rapidly, with many Brazilian tourists and students visiting Australia. Australia is looking to deepen its trade and investment dialogue with Mercosul countries (Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay, Paraguay).

Foreign policy

Brazil’s membership of Mercosul (a South American economic and political trading bloc) is a key part of its regional leadership. Brazil is a member of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC).

Brazil is a member of the G20, WTO, BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa), IBSA (India, Brazil, South Africa), Cairns Group, BASIC group in climate change negotiations (Brazil, South Africa, India, China) and the G4 seeking UN Security Council permanent membership.

Australia’s foreign policy is guided by the Foreign Policy White Paper.

Fast Facts

  • Brazilian visitors to Australia (2017) — 53,00
  • Australian visitors to Brazil (primary destination 2017)* — 19,100
  • Resident Australian population born in Brazil (2016) — 27,600
  • Australian residents of Brazilian descent (2016) — 21,400
  • Brazil students in Australia (2017) — 24,200

High level engagement

  • 2018 September — Assistant Minister for International Development and the Pacific Anne Ruston attended the 67th International Whaling Commission Meeting in Florianopolis.
  • 2018 July — Agriculture and Water Resources Minister David Littleproud visited São Paulo.
  • 2018 April — An Australian parliamentary delegation visited Rio de Janeiro and Brasilia.
  • 2018 March — then Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment Steven Ciobo visited Brazil.
  • 2017 — Brazilian Minister for Tourism visited Sydney.
  • 2016 — The Governor-General visited Rio de Janeiro to attend Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Agreements with Brazil

  • 2018 — MoU on Water Cooperation
  • 2017 — Science, Technology and Innovation Agreement
  • 2016 — MoU with the State of São Paulo on environment
  • 2012 — Australia-Brazil Strategic Partnership
  • 2010 — MoU on Cooperation on Major Sporting Events
  • 2010 — Air Services Agreement

Public diplomacy

Brazil is currently the largest source of international students in Australia outside of Asia and fifth largest globally. There are more than 110 active agreements between Australian education institutions and Brazilian governments and institutions.

Brazil is a Tier 1 Priority country for the Endeavour Leadership Program. Under the previous Endeavour Mobility Grants and Endeavour Scholarships and Fellowships programs, 80 Brazilians have been offered opportunities to undertake study, research and professional development in Australia and 123 Australians have been offered opportunities to undertake a study experience in Brazil.

In 2018, the Council on Australia-Latin America Relations (COALAR) provided grants to Nuffield Brazil Association, Australasian Performing Right Association/Sounds Australia, CSIRO, the University of New South Wales, Somos21 Limited and the Australian Academy of Science to connect and collaborate with people and institutions in Brazil.

Through the Direct Aid Program, the Australian Government provides financial support to a range of projects in Brazil. In 2017-18, the Direct Aid Program supported projects across the following focus areas: economic empowerment, minority and gender issues, sports, arts and culture for development.

Economic diplomacy

Brazil is Australia’s largest export market in Latin America by a significant margin, including in tourism, travel and education-related services, and accounts for half Australia’s direct investment in the region.

Major exports to Brazil include coal, crude petroleum, nickel ores and concentrates, aluminium and education-related travel. Major imports from Brazil include medicaments, coffee, civil engineering equipment and parts, and personal travel services.

The Australian Embassy in Brasilia is focused on promoting investment, trade in goods and services, addressing non-tariff barriers, education services and increasing science/technology and innovation links.

Further economic and trade information can be found in our Economic Factsheet for Brazil [PDF].

Business

There are over 80 Australian companies with a presence in Brazil, around one quarter of which are ASX200 listed. Brazil’s large resource-rich economy and growing middle-class present opportunities for economic engagement.

Opportunities exist for increased Australian trade and investment in areas such as information technology, biotechnology, transportation and logistics, banking and insurance, mining, water and waste-water management, oil and gas, renewable energy, education, tropical medicine, science and technology, agribusiness, retail, tourism and infrastructure.

Further information on Brazil’s market profile and doing business in Brazil can be found on the Austrade website.

Australian Embassy in Brazil

SES Quadra 801
Conjunto K, Lote 7
Brasilia DF 70200-010
Brazil

Tel: +55-61 3226 3111

General: embaustr@dfat.gov.au

Facebook: Embaixada da Austrália no Brasil

Twitter: @EmbAusBrasil

Travel

See Smartraveller for Information on travelling to Brazil

* Brazil’s Ministry of Tourism reports 33,800 Australian passport holders entered Brazil in 2017.

Last Updated: 16 July 2019