Republic of Austria
Bilateral relations began when the Archduchess Leopoldina of Habsburg married the Crown Prince to the throne of Portugal and future Emperor of Brazil, Dom Pedro I. The arrival of Princess Leopoldina to Brazil led to the organization of an Austrian scientific expedition, which, from 1817 to 1835, promoted important effort to list the Brazilian flora and topography.
The independence of Brazil was recognized by the Austrian Emperor in December, 1825. On January 22, 1891 the Austro-Hungarian Empire recognized the new Brazilian Republican Government.
During the second half of the 19th century and the early 20th century, Brazil received many Austrian immigrants or refugees, among them, Andreas Thaler, former Minister of Agriculture, who founded the colony Treze Tílias (in Santa Catarina), and the writer Stefan Zweig. Other prominent names in Brazilian culture, as the writer and journalist Otto Maria Carpeaux (1900-1978) and the artist Franz Weissmann (1911-2005), were born in Austria, as well as the economist Paul Singer.
Bilateral relations are characterized, in general, by positive aspects. It is worth mentioning, in this sense, the Brazilian initiative in the 7th General Assembly of the United Nations, in 1952, when presented a draft Resolution in favor of the restoration of Austrian sovereignty after World War II.
In addition to historical ties, both countries share and defend values such as the rule of law, democracy, human rights, multilateralism, individual freedom and freedom of expression, as well as have cooperated on those themes in international organizations.
In the last decade, there has been a consolidation in political and commercial relations, with the realization of several high-level visits. President Heinz Fischer (2005, in the first state visit of an Austrian President to Brazil), the Secretary-General for European and International Affairs Johanes Kyrle (2007), Prime Minister Alfred Gusenbauer (2008, accompanied by an important business mission) and the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of European and International Affairs Michael Spindelegger (2010) were in Brazil. In turn, the President at the time, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva (2006) and the former Ministers of Foreign Affairs Celso Amorim (2010) and Antonio de Aguiar Patriota (2013) visited Austria.
In 2008, the Memorandum of Understanding on the Establishment of Brazil-Austria Political Consultation Mechanism was signed. In this context, the Secretaries-General of Foreign Affairs Antonio de Aguiar Patriota and Ruy Nogueira, visited Austria in 2010 and 2012, respectively, and the Secretary-General of the Ministry of European and International Affairs at that time, Johannes Kyrle, were in Brazil, in 2011.
In March, 2013, during a visit to Brazil of the former Minister of Science and Research, Karlheinz Töchterle, the Framework Agreement on Cooperation in the Areas of Education and Higher Education was signed, as well as a Memorandum of Understanding and a Cooperation Agreement between CAPES and OeAD (Austrian agency for International Mobility and Cooperation in Education, Science and Research), which aims at strengthening cooperation in this area, in particular in the context of the program Science without Borders.
Other important bilateral agreements in force are:
- Agreement for the Avoidance of Double Taxation in Income and Capital Taxes (1976);
- Agreement on Economic and Industrial Cooperation (1986);
- Agreement on Air Services (1995);
- Protocol of Intentions on Technical Cooperation (2005);
- Protocol of Intentions between the Rio Branco Institute and the Diplomatic Academy of Vienna (2005).
In January 2014, the negotiation of an extradition treaty was concluded.
In October 2013, the Memorandum of Understanding among the Brazilian Institute of Museums (IBRAM), the Kunsthistorisches Museum (Art History Museum) and the Weltmuseum Wien (ancient Museum of Ethnology) was signed. The collections of the two Viennese museums are possibly the most important collections of ethnology and natural history of Brazil abroad. The material was collected by the Austrian scientific expedition that accompanied the Archduchess Leopoldina to Brazil.
In the last decade, trade between Brazil and Austria grew significantly, reaching, in 2011, its highest level: US$ 1.898 billion (FOB). In 2013, the bilateral interchange was US$ 1.527 billion (FOB). However, this interchange is marked by two unbalances:
- Traditional surplus in favor of Austria. In 2013, Brazil exported US$ 138 million and imported US$ 1.388 billion (FOB), with US$ 1.250 billion deficit. In the five year period 2009-2013, Brazil accumulated US$ 5.5 billion deficit;
- Composition of the list of commercialized goods. Brazil exports mainly basic products, whereas Austrian exports are largely industrialized goods. Exceptions to this are the Brazilian exports of engines and engine parts and aircrafts.
The bilateral relationship is denser in the area of direct investments. In 2011, the stock of direct investments of Austria in Brazil was US$ 8.5 billion – superior to those of Italy and Portugal, for example. Austrian investments in Brazil rose in level in recent years, from US$ 54 million per year (average 2001-2009) to US$ 1.5 billion in 2011. Among the main destination sectors of Austrian investments in Brazil are the manufacturing and trade of machinery, electricity equipment, hotel management, trading of paper and similar equipment.
In the opposite direction, increasing number of Brazilian companies has been using Austria as base of operations in the European market and/or has constituted holding or trading companies with the objective of centralizing in Austria financial and commercial operations. According to the Census of Brazilian Capital Abroad, carried out by the Central Bank, Austria is the main destination of direct investments of the Country abroad. In 2012, the stock of direct Brazilian investments in Austria corresponded to 22.9% (US$ 56.6 billion) of the Brazilian total invested abroad (US$ 247.2 billion). From 2007 to 2012, there was steady growth in the number of Brazilian companies that invest in Austria (from 19 in 2007 to 47 in 2012).
Brazil welcomed significant Austrian community, which today amounts to approximately 20 thousand people, with ancient colonies, established in Espírito Santo, Santa Catarina and Paraná.
Chronology of Bilateral Relations
1817 – Marriage of Archduchess Leopoldina with Crown Prince to the throne of Portugal and future Emperor of Brazil, Dom Pedro I
1825 – Recognition, by Austria, of the independence of Brazil. Establishment of full diplomatic relations between the two countries (December 27)
1871 – Visit of Emperor Dom Pedro II to Vienna
1877 – Visit of Emperor Dom Pedro II to Vienna
1891 – Recognition, by Austria, of the proclamation of the Republic in Brazil (January 22)
1933 – Andreas Thaler, former Minister of Agriculture of Austria, founds the Treze Tílias colony, in Santa Catarina
1952 – Visit to Brazil of the Austrian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Karl Gruber
1976 – Entry into force of the Agreement To Avoid Double Taxation in Income and Capital Taxes (July 1)
1980 – Visit to Brazil of the Austrian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Willibald Pahr
1982 – Visit of the Minister of Foreign Affairs Ramiro Saraiva Guerreiro, to Austria
1986 – Entry into force of the Agreement on Economic and Industrial Cooperation (October 1)
1995 – Entry into force of the Agreement on Air Services (September 1)
2005 – Visit to Brazil of President Heinz Fischer
2005 – Signature and entry into force of the Protocol of Intentions on Technical Cooperation (September 19)
2005 – Signature and entry into force of the Protocol of Intentions between the Rio Branco Institute and the Diplomatic Academy of Vienna (September 19)
2006 – Visit of President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva to Austria
2008 – Visit to Brazil of the Prime Minister Alfred Gusenbauer
2008 – Signature and entry into force of the Memorandum of Understanding on the Establishment of Consultation Mechanism (May 13)
2010 – Visit to Brazil of Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of European and International Affairs, Michael Spindelegger;
2010 – Visit to Austria of the Minister of Foreign Affairs Celso Amorim and of the Secretary-General of Foreign Affairs Antonio de Aguiar Patriota
2011 – Visit to Brazil of the Secretary-General of the Ministry of European and International Affairs, Johannes Kyrle
2012 – Visit of the Secretary-General of Foreign Affairs, Ruy Nunes Pinto Nogueira, to Austria
2012 – Visit to Brazil of the Minister of Justice Beatrix Karl
2013 – Visit to Brazil of the Minister of Science and Research, Karlheinz Töchterle
2013 – Signature of the Framework Agreement on Cooperation in the Areas of Education and Higher Education; of the Memorandum of Understanding on Higher Education, Science and Research between CAPES and OeAD (Austrian agency for International Mobility and Cooperation in Education, Science and Research); of the Cooperation Agreement between CAPES and OeAD for the Implementation of Undergraduate Scholarships in Austria in the Context of the Science Without Borders Programme (CsF); of the Adhesion Terms among CAPES and the Universities of Leoben, of Salzburg, and of Innsbruck for the allocation of graduation students of the CsF Programme; and the Cooperation Term between IBMEC and the University of Applied Sciences of Krems for allocation of graduation students from the CsF
2013 – Signature and entry into force of the Memorandum of Understanding among the Brazilian Institute of Museums (IBRAM), the Kunsthistorisches Museum (Art History Museum) and the Weltmuseum Wien (ancient Museum of Ethnology)