Since the independence of Brazil, France has held a central position in the Brazilian cultural, intellectual and institutional development. Political, philosophical, and religious ideas were sought in that country, as well as school, university and military models that would be employed in Brazil. It is no coincidence, therefore, that both societies have their roots in common democratic, humanitarian and equalitarian values.
Besides historical ties, the two countries also share terrestrial border with more than 700km of extension, located between Amapá and the French Department of Guiana - with potential for larger integration between the French Guiana and the North region of Brazil.
President Dilma Rousseff performed a State visit to France (2012) and President François Hollande performed state visit to Brazil, on the occasion of the launching of the Franco- Brazilian Economic Forum (2013).
The growing importance of the relationship between the two countries was recognized when Presidents Lula and Chirac signed a strategic partnership (2006), with broad agenda of cooperation and exchange. The Plan of Action of the Franco-Brazilian Strategic Partnership (2008) was based on axes such as political dialogue and international governance; trade and economic relations; cooperation in areas of defense, space, nuclear energy, sustainable development; domains of education, language, science and technology; migration and transboundary issues; and joint action in third countries, particularly in Africa.
The strategic Partnership with France goes beyond the proper strategic and defense sectors; it found, however, in these areas which involve sensitive technologies subject to stricter controls, the stronger expression of the determination of both countries to build an association of special nature. Initiatives implemented in the defense sector, with two major programs in submarines and helicopters, and the development of cooperation in the space and super computers sectors, have become emblematic of the high level understanding.
Cooperation in the fields of science, technology and innovation is another important side of bilateral relations. One of the most advanced technological parks in the world, France has autonomous capabilities in all key-sectors of the economy. It is the third country that more welcomes scholarship students from the Science Without Borders program, offering approximately 5 thousand vacancies to Brazilian students and researchers.
France supports the expansion of the UN Security Council in both categories of membership, including a permanent seat for Brazil. The country is one of the five permanent members of the Security Council and also ranks fifth among the world's largest economies. It is an important partner of Brazil in issues regarding peace and security, disarmament and non-proliferation, human rights, trade, finance, sustainable development and climate change. Bilateral dialogue on these issues is benefited from a shared perspective on the reinforcement of multilateralism and international law.
France and Brazil present converging views on the importance of the State, not only for economic development, but also for the promotion of social equality. As for international economic governance, France has shown to be an important ally of Brazil on recognizing both the need for greater involvement of emerging powers and the importance of measures to stimulate growth and employment to deal with crises. In this direction, the French Government was one of the main proponents for the replacement of the G-8 by the G-20 as the main forum of economic and financial coordination, from 2008.
France is one of Brazil's main trading partners. In 2012, the flow of bilateral trade exceeded US$ 10 billion. The country was the 13th main customer of Brazil and the 10th main supplier. The increasing presence of French enterprises in the Brazilian territory helps to explain the intensity of trade between the two countries. There are nearly 500 of them established in Brazil, among which 38 are from CAC 40 index (which gathers the 40 largest public companies listed on the Paris Stock Exchange). In 2012, France was the 5th largest foreign investor in Brazil, with approximately US$2,2 billion. The stock of French investments in the country exceeds US$ 20 billion, encompassing sectors such as retail trade, electricity, telecommunications, automobiles, food, metallurgy, and information technology.
Chronology of bilateral relations
1555-60 – French occupation of the current Rio de Janeiro (Antarctic France)
1612-15 – French occupation of the current Maranhão (Equinoctial France)
1809-17 – Luso-Brazilian occupation of French Guiana
1816 – French Artistic mission to Brazil
1825 – Recognition of the Independence of Brazil by France
1826 – Treaty of Friendship, Commerce and Navigation between Brazil and France
1900 – Arbitration on the border of Brazil and France
1920-39 – French military mission to Brazil
1934 – University of São Paulo is founded, with the support of the French academic mission
1959 – House of Brazil (Casa do Brasil) is inaugurated at the campus of the University of Paris
1964 – President Charles de Gaulle visits Brazil
1997 – Visit to Brazil of President Jacques Chirac (March)
2001 - Visit of President Fernando Henrique Cardoso to France; visit of Prime-Minister Lionel Jospin to Brazil
2003 – Participation of Brazil, upon invitation of France, in the G8 Summit, in Evian
2005 – Year of Brazil in France; President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva visits France
2006 – Launch of Brazil-France Strategic Partnership, on the occasion of the visit of President Jacques Chirac to Brazil
2008 – The Plan of Action for the Brazil-France Strategic Partnership is signed, on the occasion of the visit of President Nicolas Sarkozy to Brazil; meeting of Presidents Lula and Sarkozy in the French Guiana.
2009 – Year of France in Brazil, visits of President Lula to France and of President Sarkozy to Brazil
2011 – Prime- Minister François Fillon visits Brazil
2012 – President Dilma Rousseff visits France
2013 – State Visit of the President of the French Republic, François Hollande, to Brasilia (December 12)
2014 – Minister Luiz Alberto Figueiredo Machado visits Paris (March 19)
2015 – Minister Mauro Vieira visits Paris, occasion when he holds working meeting with the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Development of France, Laurent Fabius (June 3)
2015 – Visit of the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Development of France, Laurent Fabius, to Brasilia (November 22)
2015 – Visit of President Dilma Rousseff to Paris, on the occasion of the 21st Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change - COP21 (November 30)
2016 – Meeting of Minister Mauro Vieira with French Minister for Foreign Affairs and International Development Laurent Fabius on the sidelines of the International Conference to Support Syria and the Region, in London (February 4)