Republic of Korea
Diplomatic relations between Brazil and the Republic of Korea (South Korea) were established in October of 1959. Brazil was the 8th country in the world and the 1st Latin American country to officially recognize South Korea. The Brazilian Embassy in Seoul was established in 1965. The first South Korean embassy in Latin America was opened in Rio de Janeiro in 1962.
Relations between Brazil and South Korea have been marked in recent years by the expansion of South Korean investments in Brazil, by the intensification of academic cooperation – particularly in the context of the "Science Without Borders" program – by the favorable prospects of cooperation in science, technology and innovation and the growth of bilateral trade flows. There is great potential for cooperation in high-tech industries such as semiconductors, information and communication technologies, biotechnology, renewable energy, aerospace and nanotechnology.
In recent years, there has been a significant increase in South Korean investments in Brazil, especially in the electronics, automotive, oil and steel sectors. In 2014, Brazil was the fourteenth destination of South Korean exports. The Asian country, in turn, was the 23rd source of Brazilian imports. Last year, South Korea was Brazil’s third commercial partner in Asia and seventh in the world. Brazil is South Korea’s largest commercial partner in Latin America.
South Korea was the first country in East Asia to be part of the "Science without Borders" program. Since 2012, 550 scholarships were awarded to Brazilian students in South Korean universities and research centers. South Korean companies have offered internships to Brazilian students since the beginning of “Science Without Borders”, encompassing about 90% of the students in the program.
2013 marked the commemorations of the 50th anniversary of Korean immigration to Brazil. The first group of 109 pioneers departed the city of Busan in December 1962 and arrived in Santos in February 1963. The community of Korean nationals and their descendants residing in Brazil (especially in the city of São Paulo) are estimated at fifty thousand people.
In April of 2015, the President of South Korea Park Geun-hye visited Brazil and held an extensive program in Brasilia and São Paulo.
Brazil is the only Latin American country with resident embassies in both Koreas.