Federal Republic of Germany
Brazil and Germany have a strategic partnership since 2002. In August 2015, in Brasília, President Dilma Rousseff and Chancellor Angela Merkel established the Brazil-Germany High Level Intergovernmental Consultations mechanism, raising the level of the bilateral partnership between the two countries. The establishment of the consultation mechanism with Germany will bring dynamism to the bilateral political dialogue and allow for the strengthening of economic, technological and commercial cooperation in priority areas for Brazil.
In 2010, the German Ministry of Foreign Affairs presented its ‘Strategy on Latin America and the Caribbean,’ which recognizes the new political and economic weight of the region and gives it a new importance in the German foreign policy. New areas for Latin America-Germany cooperation are unveiled, such as renewable energies, environment, and sustainable growth; science and technology; infrastructure and security.
In 2012, the concept of ‘shaping powers’ (Gestaltungsmächte) was presented by the German government. It replaced the ‘emerging countries’ concept, and included countries such as the BRICS members, Colombia, Indonesia, Mexico, and Vietnam. As part of its strategy for such countries, Germany proposes the strengthening of global governance structures, including reforming institutions such as the International Monetary Fund and the United Nations Security Council.
Bilateral visits also contributed to the intensification of relations. In 2013, President Joachim Gauck visited Brazil and attended, together with President Dilma Rousseff, the opening of the Brazilian-German Economic Forum and the inauguration of the Year of Germany in Brazil 2013-2014. In 2012, the Brazilian President visited Hannover and inaugurated the CeBIT (international fair in the area of information and communication technologies), which had Brazil as partner country.
In the first decades of the 20th Century, the Brazilian market proved to be of fundamental importance for the German industry. German capital helped finance the first Brazilian industrial boom, and in the 1960s and 1970s, the creation of Brazil's modern industrial park coincided with the beginning of the internationalization process of German companies. The nearly 1,600 German companies in Brazil today account for 8-10% of the Brazilian industrial GDP. Over 800 German companies are based in the State of São Paulo alone, generating more than 250,000 direct jobs. It has become customary to say that the city of São Paulo is the largest German industrial city outside Germany.
Germany is the main trading partner of Brazil in Europe and the fourth Brazilian trading partner in the world. Brazilian exports to Germany in 2014 reached USD 6.6 billion. Brazilian exports essentially comprise primary products: minerals; coffee; soy bran; cast iron and steel; machinery and mechanical appliances. Brazilian imports from Germany reached, in 2014 , USD 13.8billion. Brazilian imports from Germany are mainly comprised of manufactured products, accounting for 95% of the total: nuclear reactors, boilers and machinery; cars, tractors, cycles and other vehicles; organic chemical products; pharmaceutical products; electronic equipment.
The German capital stock accumulated in Brazil by 2013 reached USD 23.2 billion, which makes Germany the seventh largest foreign investor in the country. Investments are concentrated in the following sectors: manufacturing of motor vehicles and car parts; metallurgy; pharmaceutical products; manufacturing of machinery and equipment; chemicals; financial and insurance services. Investments of Brazilian companies in Germany have also been expanding.
Both countries are working on intensifying cooperation between small and medium-sized enterprises, aiming at strengthening applied research to industry. Created in 2011, the Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises Forum is a communication channel between Government and private entities from both countries.
Science, technology, and innovation are important components in the relations between Brazil and Germany. Through cooperation with Germany, Brazil aims at increasing the innovation component in the national productive chains, enabling scientists and engineers, and promoting technology transfer.
The applied research cooperation with the Fraunhofer Society is worth mentioning. Brazil adopted the Fraunhofer Society as a model in innovation management, relying on it to create the structure of the Brazilian Company for Industrial Research and Innovation (EMBRAPII), aimed at technology development and transfer. In 2012, an agreement was signed between the Ministry of Science, Technology, and Innovation, and the Fraunhofer Society, to evaluate and certify the institutions that will be part of the EMBRAPII. SENAI (National Service for Industrial Training) is also in intense cooperation with Fraunhofer Society for the establishment of 23 High Performance Centers in Brazil.
Chronology of Bilateral Relations
1822 – Major Jorge Antonio Schäffer is sent by Dom Pedro to the court of Vienna and German courts in order to recruit settlers and soldiers to the Foreigner Corps in Rio de Janeiro
1824 – After the promulgation of the Constitution, which recognized the sovereignty of the State and allowed the immigration of non-Catholic people, the German settlement in Brazil begins, with the arrival of the first immigrants to the then Province of São Pedro do Rio Grande do Sul
1825 – The independence of Brazil is recognized by Prussia and the Hanseatic cities, after agreement between Brazil and Portugal
1826 – Opening of the Consulate of Brazil in Hamburg
1827 – Trade and Navigation Treaties are signed between the Empire of Brazil and the Kingdom of Prussia and between the Empire of Brazil and the Hanseatic cities of Lübeck, Bremen, and Hamburg
1859 – After the dissemination of news about poor life and work conditions of German immigrants, recruitment is forbidden by Prussia through the "Heydt Rescript"
1871 – The "Heydt Rescript" is incorporated by the German Empire
1896 – The "Heydt Rescript" is revoked
1900 – The Baron of Rio Branco is designated as Minister Plenipotentiary in Berlin
1910 – German Military Mission is sent to Brazil with the aim of cooperating in the reorganization and modernization of the Brazilian Army
1917 – Brazilian ship is torpedoed in the French coast by a German ship (April 3). Brazil breaks diplomatic relations with Germany (April 11) and declares war against the German Empire (October 27)
1942 – Severance of Diplomatic Relations between Brazil and the Axis countries is announced (January 28). Recognition of State of belligerence with Germany and Italy (August 22)
1951 – Inauguration of the Embassy of the FRG in Rio de Janeiro (July). Inauguration of the Embassy of Brazil in Bonn (November)
1954 – The Mannesmann steel company is the first major German company to settle in Brazil
1956 – President-elect Juscelino Kubitschek visits Bonn
1959 – A Volkswagen factory is inaugurated in São Bernardo do Campo
1961 – Brazil abolishes the prohibition of teaching German in public schools
1964 – German President Heinrich Lübke visits Brazil and ensures German investments in the country. An agreement on Regular Air Transport is signed (in force)
1968 – Willy Brandt, Foreign Minister of the FRG, visits Brazil and proposes an 'expanded partnership'
1969 – Cultural Agreement is signed (in force)
1970 – Kidnapping of the Ambassador of Germany in Brazil
1973 – Agreement on Spatial Research is signed (in force)
1974 – Constitutive Agreement of the Economic Cooperation Joint Committee (in force) and the Agreement on Agricultural Cooperation (in force) are signed
1975 – Signature of Agreement for Cooperation in the Peaceful Uses of Nuclear Energy (in force); signature of the Agreement for the Avoidance of Double Taxation (denounced by Germany in 2005)
1978 – President Ernesto Geisel visits the FRG
1979 – Foreign Minister Helmut Schmidt visits Brazil
1981 – President João Figueiredo visits Germany
1983 –Agreement on Maritime Transport is signed (in force)
1990 – Fernando Collor de Mello, President-elect, visits the FRG
1991 – Federal Chancellor Helmut Kohl visits Brazil
1993 – Klaus Kinkel, Foreign Minister of the FRG, visits Brazil
1995 – President Fernando Henrique Cardoso visits the FRG. Federal President Roman Herzog pays a return visit
1996 – Federal Chancellor Helmut Kohl visits Brazil. Signature of Basic Agreement on Technical Cooperation (in force) and Framework Agreement on Cooperation in Scientific Research and Technological Development (in force)
1999 – President Fernando Henrique Cardoso meets with Federal Chancellor Gerhard Schröder in Bonn (April)
2002 – Federal Chancellor Schröder visits Brazil
2002/2003 – Signing of the Agreements on Financial Cooperation for the Implementation of Projects for the Conservation of Tropical Forests (in force)
2003 – President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva visits Germany, four weeks after taking office
2005 – Signature of Agreement on the Statute of Cultural Institutions and their Technical Envoys and Agreement on Cinematographic Co-production
2006 – Official visit of Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier
2007 – President Lula travels for the G-8 Summit, in Heiligendamm
2007 – Official visit of Federal President Horst Köhler
2008 – Official visit of Chancellor Angela Merkel (May)
2008 – Signature of the Agreement on Partnership and Cooperation on Public Safety. Signature of the Agreement on Cooperation in the Energy Sector with Focus on Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency
2009 – State visit of the President of the Republic, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva (December)
2010 – Visit of Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle to Brazil (March)
2012 – The Vice-President of the Republic, Michel Temer, visits Germany (November)
2013 – The Vice-President of the Republic, Michel Temer, visits Germany, in the context of the Frankfurt Book Fair (Brazil is the Guest of Honor)
2016 – Work meeting of Minister Mauro Vieira with the Federal Foreign Minister of Germany, Frank-Walter Steinmeier, on the occasion of the 52nd edition of the Munich Security Conference (February 14)