Oriental Republic of Uruguay
Uruguay is one of the main strategic partners of Brazil in South America. Historical, political and human ties between the two countries allow for the high degree of mutual trust, which pervades all aspects of the bilateral relationship. Cooperation between the two countries is encompassing, permeating the political, economic, technological and social fields.
The process of integration between Brazil and Uruguay contributes to social economic development in both countries and strengthens their positions in multilateral fora. It is noteworthy the cooperation between Brazil and Uruguay within MERCOSUR and UNASUR, mechanisms of great relevance in promoting the improvement of life of the South American population and in the Brazilian strategy to strengthen South America as a dynamic center in a multipolar world.
The increasing economic integration has benefited the economy and the industry of the two countries. Between 2004 and 2012, the flow of bilateral trade increased from US$ 1.19 billion to US$ 4 billion, a growth of 236%. During the period, Brazilian exports to Uruguay grew from US$670 million to US$ 2,19 billion, an increase of 227%. In 2014, bilateral trade between Brasil and Uruguay reached historical records in all indicators: total flux (US$ 4.9 billion; + 26.7%), Brazilian exports (US$ 2.9 billion, + 42.2% ), imports (US$ 1.9 billion; + 8.6%) and Brazilian surplus (US$ 1 billion, + 237%). The main products exported by Brazil in 2014 were crude oil (41% of exports), yerba mate, fuel, cars and pork. The main imported products were wheat (17% of imports), malt, bottles and plastic jars, automobiles, vulcanized rubbers and chassis with diesel engine. In the first half of 2015 trade flow between Brazil and Uruguay fell by 8.5% over the same period last year (data from MDIC). While Brazilian exports experienced considerable rise (9.6%), Uruguay's sales suffered a significant fall (-32.4%), which can be attributed in part to the devaluation of the Brazilian currency. The importance of Brazilian investments in Uruguay should be highlighted, particularly in agro-export sectors. Brazilian capitals represent 54% of exports of rice, 40% of cattle slaughter and 50% of exports of beef from Uruguay.
The good quality of the political dialogue, coupled with the existence of substantial economic ties, allows for the integration between the two countries to reach considerable density in several areas. Initiatives adopted in partnership with Uruguay often serve as model for the regional integration process.
The government of President Dilma Rousseff renewed the impulse of this process with the establishment of a new paradigm for bilateral relations, based on a process of deep integration that generates concrete benefits for the Brazilian and Uruguayan populations. In order to attain this goal, the "High Level Group Brazil-Uruguay” (HLG), which is divided into six subgroups (productive integration; science, technology and innovation; communication and information; integration of the transportation infrastructure; free circulation of goods and services; and free circulation of people), aims at formulating and supervising projects in strategic areas of the bilateral relationship.
The 1st Plenary Meeting of the HLG (July 2013) adopted the “Action Plan for Sustainable Development and Integration Brazil - Uruguay”, document that encompasses 40 actions of strategic character in short, medium and long terms. The work of HLG subgroups also led to the signing of the “Agreement on Permanent Residence with the goal of achieving the free movement of persons", which establishes a simplified mechanism for granting permanent residence to Brazilian and Uruguayan nationals wishing to settle residence in the other country.
Border cooperation is another important point in bilateral relations. The common border stretches over 1,069 and is home to a significant population group. As a mechanism of policy formulation for the border, the “New Agenda for Cooperation and Border Development Brazil-Uruguay” is a highlight, acting in coordination with department/state and local levels of the Brazilian and Uruguayan Governments, seeking to meet the demands of the border population through policies agreed upon bilaterally. Among the measures formulated under the “New Agenda” is the Integrated Sanitation Project Aceguá-Aceguá, which uses contributions from the Structural Convergence Fund of MERCOSUR (FOCEM) to create integrated sanitation systems between the twin cities, avoiding duplicated efforts and waste of funds.
Energy integration is one of the most promising areas of the bilateral relationship. On a visit to Uruguay, in February 2015, President Dilma Rousseff inaugurated, with then President José Mujica, the Artilleros wind farm, joint investment of Eletrobras and its Uruguayan counterpart.
In the area of physical integration, the construction project of the second international bridge over the river Jaguarão outstands, aiming at improving the international freight and passenger traffic between Brazil and Uruguay. Another important project is the restoration of the historical and architectural heritage of the Baron of Mauá International Bridge, opened in 1930 and recently declared heritage of MERCOSUR, between the towns of Jaguarão (Brazil) and Rio Branco (Uruguay). The coordination between the two countries in physical and institutional structure of the Waterway Uruguay-Brazil must also be mentioned.
Chronology of bilateral relations
1828 – Peace Convention is signed, in Rio de Janeiro, formalizing the Independence of Uruguay
1830 – Uruguayan Constitution officially approved, after ratification by Brazil and Argentina
1854 – Brazil intervenes in Uruguay to support colorado Venancio Flores
1857 – Treaty of Commerce and Navigation between Brazil and Uruguay is signed in Rio de Janeiro
1864 – Brazilian squad is sent to Uruguay to claim compensation to cattle farmers of Rio Grande do Sul.
1864 – The Uruguayan government severs diplomatic relations and Brazilian troops invade Uruguay
1865 – José Maria da Silva Paranhos signs Peace Agreement with the warring factions in Uruguay
1865 – Colorados defeat blancos with Brazil’s support, adopting a pro-Empire policy
1865 – Argentina, Brazil and Uruguay sign the Treaty of Triple Alliance against Paraguay
1889 – Recognition by Uruguay of the republican regime in Brazil
1909 – Unilateral concession by Brazil of the condominium of Lagoa Mirim and the Jaguarão River
1963 – Agreement on the Establishment of a Joint Commission for the Exploitation of Lagoa Mirim
1975 – Brazil and Uruguay conclude the Treaty of Friendship, Cooperation and Trade in Rivera
1991 – Brazil, Argentina, Paraguay and Uruguay sign the Treaty for the establishment of Mercosur
1993 – Agreement on the Statute of the Joint Commission for the Development of River Basin Quaraí
2004 – Agreement for Residence, Study and Work Permit to Border Nationals
2005 – President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva participates in the inauguration of President Tabaré Vázquez (March)
2005 – President Tabaré Vázquez makes State visit to Brazil (April)
2006 – President Tabaré Vázquez makes official visit to Brazil (March)
2006 – Bilateralization of the Agreement on Residence for Nationals of Mercosur (March)
2006 – Resumption of the work of the Commissions of Lagoa Mirim and the Quaraí River (May)
2006 – Presidents Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva and Tabaré Vázquez meet in Porto Alegre (September)
2007 – President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva pays a working visit to Uruguay (February)
2007 – President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva announces the opening of representations of the Bank of Brazil and BNDES in Uruguay (December)
2008 – Foreign Minister Gonzalo Fernandez visits Brasilia (May)
2009 – President Tabaré Vázquez visits Brazil (March)
2010 – President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva participates in the inauguration of President José Mujica
2010 – President José Mujica visits Brasília (March)
2010 – President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva visits Montevideo (May)
2010 – Meeting between Presidents Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva and José Mujica in Santana do Livramento / Rivera (July)
2010 – President José Mujica participates in the opening ceremony of the Darcy Ribeiro Memorial, at the University of Brasília (December)
2010 – Meeting between Presidents Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva and Mujica on the margins of the Mercosur Summit (December)
2011 – President José Mujica participates in the inauguration of President Dilma Rousseff
2011 – Foreign Minister Luis Almagro visits Brasília (June)
2011 – Minister Antonio de Aguiar Patriota visits Montevideo (September)
2011 – President Jose Mujica visits Porto Alegre (November)
2011 – Meeting between President Dilma Rousseff and President José Mujica on the margins of the Ibero-American Meeting in Commemoration of the International Year of African Descents in Salvador (November)
2012 – Visit of President Jose Mujica to Brasília (April)
2012 – Visit of President Jose Mujica to Brasília (July)
2012 – Presidents Dilma Rousseff and José Mujica establish the High Level Group Brazil - Uruguay, HLG (July)
2012 – 8th High Level Meeting of the New Agenda for Cooperation and Border Development Brazil-Uruguay (Porto Alegre, September 13-14)
2012 – Visit of President Jose Mujica to Brasília (December)
2013 – First Plenary Meeting of the High Level Group Brazil - Uruguay (HLG). The "Brazil - Uruguay Action Plan for Sustainable Development and Integration" is approved (July 9)
2014 – Travel of Minister Luiz Alberto Figueiredo Machado to Montevideo, on the occasion of the second plenary meeting of the High Level Group Brazil-Uruguay (GAN) (May 16)
2014 – Meeting between President Dilma Rousseff and President Jose Mujica in Brasilia, on the occasion of meeting with the BRICS leaders (July)
2014 – Visit to Montevideo of Vice President Michel Temer (September)
2014 – Working visit of President Jose Mujica to Brasilia (November)
2015 – Visit of President Jose Mujica to Brasilia for the inauguration of President Dilma Rousseff (January)
2015 – Visit of President Jose Mujica to Belo Horizonte (February)
2015 – Minister Mauro Vieira travels to Montevideo, on the occasion of the Meeting of the assigned Commission of Foreign Ministers of the Union of South American Nations (UNASUR) on the situation in Venezuela (February 9)
2015 – Travel of President Dilma Rousseff to the department of Colonia for the initiation of Artilleros Wind Farm and to Montevideo for the inauguration of the President of Uruguay, Tabaré Vázquez (February 28 to March 1)
2016 – The Secretary General of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Sérgio França Danese, conducts, along with his Uruguayan counterpart, Ambassador José Luis Cancela, the 10th Brazil-Uruguay High-Level Meeting of the New Agenda for Border Cooperation and Development, in Brasília (April 18-19)
2016 – Visit of Minister José Serra to Montevideo, where he is hosted by President Tabaré Vázquez and keeps a working meeting with Foreign Minister Rodolfo Nin Novoa (July 5)