Kingdom of Belgium
Belgium is Brazil's traditional partner. Since their consolidation as nations, they established partnerships that have renewed and comprised new areas.
Belgium's expertise in sectors in which Brazil needs more technology and investments provides a strategic nature to the relations. It is a favorable moment for the expansion of bilateral investments and trade, and the partnerships prospects are particularly promising in areas involving high technology such as microelectronics, biotechnology, pharmaceutical chemistry and fine chemistry.
Educational cooperation is another priority in the bilateral relation. The several initiatives carried out in the past are enriched by the Science Without Borders Program, which has contributed to the academic training of Brazilian students and allowed greater rapprochement between academic sectors of the two countries.
Belgium has sought to develop new partnerships with emerging countries, paying special attention to Brazil – identified as “target-country” – focused on the infrastructure and logistics sectors. In this context, Prince Philippe visited Brazil as head of a business mission, in 2010.
President Dilma Rousseff visited Belgium in 2011. During the visit, priority fields for cooperation between the two countries were defined: science, technology and innovation, with emphasis on nuclear cooperation; education; infrastructure and logistics and, especially, on the intensification of exchanges between the Brazilian Space Agency and the Space Center of Liège.
In 2012, representatives of the Brazilian government visited Belgium to strengthen relations in the transportation area, especially with regards to investments in ports, airports and road systems. Besides presenting to Belgian authorities the new Brazilian regulatory framework for concessions in ports, the delegation collected detailed information on the Belgian transportation system and its legislation. A Technical Cooperation Agreement was signed between the Special Secretariat of Ports of the Brazilian Government and the Antwerp Port Training Center (APEC). In November 2013, a training course for employees of several Brazilian ports has started.
Belgium is characterized by a regionalized organization and the possibilities for rapprochement with Brazil are not limited to the federal sphere. For more than ten years, the regional Government of Wallonia keeps an office of the Walloon Export and Foreign Investment Agency (AWEX) in São Paulo. Recent missions to Belgium have established direct dialogue with regional governments.
Chronology of Bilateral Relations
1834 – Trade and Navigation Treaty between the Brazilian Empire and the Kingdom of Belgium
1863 – Arbitration of King Leopold I in favor of Brazil in the “Christie issue" (which opposed Brazil and the United Kingdom)
1886 – Creation of the Gas Company of Rio de Janeiro (S.A du Gaz de Rio de Janeiro”)
1911 – Creation of the “Banque de l’Union Belgo-Brésilienne”
1920 – Visit of King Albert I and Queen Elizabeth to Brazil (first visit of an European Head of State to Brazil)
1921 – Creation of Belgium-Minas Gerais mining and metallurgic company
1956 – Visit of the elected President Juscelino Kubitschek to Belgium
1958 – Participation of Brazil in the Brussels World's Fair
1965 – Visit of King Baldouin and Queen Fabiola to Brazil
1995 – Visit of President Fernando Henrique Cardoso to Belgium
2009 – Visit of President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva to Belgium
2010 – Visit of Prince Philippe to Brazil, as head of a Belgium business mission
2014 – Visit of President Dilma Rousseff to Brussels on the occasion of the 7th Brazil-European Union Summit (February 23-24)