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Canada-Brazil Relations

Fact Sheet: HTML Verson | PDF Version * (121 KB)

A key partner for Canada

Diplomatic relations and official representation

Canada and Brazil enjoy diplomatic relations that date back to 1941, when Brazil established its diplomatic mission in Canada. Canada, has an embassy in Brasilia and has consulates general in São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro and trade offices in Belo Horizonte, Recife and Porto Alegre. Along with its embassy in Ottawa, Brazil maintains consulates general in Montréal, Toronto and Vancouver.

Bilateral relations

Canada and Brazil have many similarities, such as vast and sparsely populated geographies and abundant natural resources, as well as multicultural and diverse societies that include significant Indigenous populations. The Canada-Brazil relationship has grown over the years, a result of these similarities, as well as of strategic interests and a shared engagement in the promotion of security, prosperity, democratic governance and free trade.

The relationship has been strengthened by dialogue in many areas, including human rights, humanitarian assistance, mobility, health, education, defence and security, agriculture, and science and technology.

Canada and Brazil also work closely in multilateral forums, such as the G20, World Trade Organization and Organization of American States, to develop effective responses to today’s most pressing global challenges.

Commercial relations

Canada’s trade and investment relationship with Brazil has seen steady growth in recent years, and there are major two-way trade and foreign investment flows. The value of bilateral trade amounted to $6.4 billion in 2017. Canada exported $1.7 billion-worth of merchandise goods, making Brazil Canada’s 18th-largest export destination, while Canada’s imports from Brazil were valued at $4.7 billion, making the country Canada’s 12th-largest source of imports. Two-way trade in services in 2017 was worth $1 billion, with Canadian exports valued at $715 million (an increase of 4.9% over 2016) and imports at $323 million (an increase of 4.9% over 2016).

Brazil was the seventh-largest source of foreign direct investment in Canada in 2017, with investments amounting to $18.2 billion. It was the 13th-largest recipient of Canadian direct investment abroad, with $11.6 billion invested as of the end of 2017. Approximately 500 Canadian companies are active in Brazil, in a large range of sectors.

The Canadian Trade Commissioner Service has identified significant commercial opportunities for Canadian companies in a number of key sectors that are well suited to Canadian capabilities and interests: infrastructure, education, clean technology, information and communications technology, oil and gas and aerospace. In addition to these priority sectors, important opportunities for Canadian companies exist in mining, defence and security, life sciences, ocean technologies, automotive, power, agriculture and agri-food, services and tourism.

Export Development Canada has had an active presence in Brazil for more than a decade. It has assisted 352 Canadian companies and has provided insurance to 491 international buyers, representing a business volume of $3.3 billion.

Canada and Mercosur

On March 9, 2018, Canada and the member states of Mercosur (the South American trade bloc of which Brazil was a founding member) officially launched free trade agreement negotiations in Asunción, Paraguay. The agreement is expected to deal with issues such as market access for goods and services, labour, the environment, trade and gender, and micro- small and medium-sized enterprises. Canada and Mercosur’s aim for the agreement is that it be comprehensive, progressive and commercially meaningful, so that it enhances trade and investment flows; it is also expected to foster greater bilateral trade between Canada and Brazil.

Partnerships for science, technology and innovation

Research and innovation are core elements of Canada’s trade agenda and an increasing point of convergence in the country’s relations with strategic economies, such as Brazil’s. Brazil is one of five countries with which Canada has a funded science and technology agreement. The Canada-Brazil Framework Agreement for Cooperation on Science, Technology and Innovation entered into force in both countries in 2010. It serves as a framework within which Canadian and Brazilian partners from industry, academia and government can collaborate on joint research and development projects, scientific conferences and workshops, exchanges and loans of equipment and materials; it also enhances student and researcher mobility.

Canada and Brazil share strong academic connections, which have expanded over the years. Education remains a cornerstone of the Canada-Brazil relationship. Canada is the world’s top destination for Brazilians pursuing studies in English as a second language, and Brazil is Canada’s seventh-largest source of international students. In 2017, there were 11,775 Brazilian students in Canada with study permits for six months or longer, an increase of 28% compared to 2016.

 Academics from Canada and Brazil enjoy frequent and regular exchanges and cooperation opportunities that are supported by a variety of programs financed by both governments. The Canadian government encourages exchanges for their potential to enrich the Canada-Brazil relationship. As a complement to the science and technology agreement, on August 30, 2010, Canada and Brazil signed the Memorandum of Understanding on Academic Mobility and Scientific Cooperation to encourage innovation in the two countries and support joint research projects.

Development cooperation

Canada’s development relationship with Brazil has evolved from one of donor and recipient to one of development cooperation partners. Canada and Brazil have signed the Memorandum of Understanding on International Development Cooperation Effectiveness. This seeks to advance the Canada-Brazil development relationship through policy dialogue, joint policy research, enhanced institutional links and technical-cooperation activities in third countries.

Canadian embassies, including the one in Brazil, each maintain a Canada Fund for Local Initiatives (CFLI), which is designed to support small projects proposed and implemented by local organizations. In providing funding for small projects that offer direct social, economic or technical assistance to local populations, the CFLI contributes to the overall goal of reducing poverty. 

June 2018

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