Switzerland and Brazil maintain close and varied bilateral relations. They hold regular political exchanges and have strong business ties.
Bilateral relations Switzerland–Brazil
Key aspects of diplomatic relations
Switzerland and Brazil hold regular ministerial meetings and political consultations. They have also concluded bilateral agreements on trade, aviation and legal assistance.
Brazil is Switzerland’s biggest trading partner in Latin America. In 2015 Switzerland imported CHF 1.43 billion worth of goods, mainly gold, coffee and unwrought aluminium, and exported CHF 2.04 billion worth of pharmaceuticals, chemical products and machinery. At the end of 2014, Swiss investments in Brazil stood at CHF 13.6 billion, and Swiss companies employed 68,484 people in the country.
Cooperation in education, research and innovation
Scholars and artists from Brazil can apply to the State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation (SERI) for a Swiss Government Excellence Scholarship.
In 2014 a Swissnex office was opened in Rio de Janeiro. This innovation platform of the State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation (SERI) liaises between researchers, institutions and companies in the two countries.
Swiss nationals in Brazil
At the end of 2015, there were some 15'730 Swiss nationals living in Brazil.
History of bilateral relations
Relations between Switzerland and Brazil date back to the early 19th century, when Swiss businessmen discovered Brazil as a market for their goods. The first Swiss overseas consulate was opened in Rio de Janeiro in 1819. Swiss migrants headed for Brazil from 1817, when the town of Nova Friburgo was founded, until the middle of the 20th century. Switzerland opened its diplomatic mission in Rio de Janeiro in 1907. This was moved to Brasilia, the new capital, in 1972. Besides its Embassy, Switzerland also operates two consulates-general and a "Swiss Business Hub" in Brazil. It also supports the two Swiss schools in São Paulo and Curitiba.