Kingdom of the Netherlands
Relations between Brazil and the Netherlands are characterized by mutual understanding and by historical experiences shared over nearly two centuries of uninterrupted dialogue between the Governments of both countries. The strategic relevance of the relationship is increased by the presence, in the Caribbean, of autonomous constituent territories of the Kingdom of the Netherlands – such as Aruba, Curacao and Saint Maarten – and areas of Dutch sovereignty.
Brazil and the Netherlands converge in the defense of the rule of International Law, the importance of protecting the environment, the respect for human rights, and the imperative of development assistance.
Bilateral dialogue at the political level is broad and tends to diversification. High level visits occur frequently. In 2012, the then Crown Prince and current King Willem-Alexander came to Brazil accompanied by a delegation of over 250 businessmen and 175 representatives of Dutch companies and organizations. President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva visited the Netherlands in 2008, as well as the Ministers of Foreign Affairs Celso Amorim (2009) and Antonio de Aguiar Patriota (2013), visit reciprocated in 2009 by then Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende. Foreign Ministers Celso Amorin and Antonio de Aguiar Patriota also visited the Netherlands, in 2009 and 2013, respectively. President Dilma Rousseff and the Prime Minister of the Netherlands, Mark Rutte, met on the margin of the 7th Summit of the Americas, in Panama City (2015)
Trade and financial relations have grown, and cooperation in science and technology is becoming increasingly important. About 1000 scholarship students of the “Science Without Borders” programme are enrolled in courses in the Netherlands, in areas such as life sciences, agricultural techniques, nanotechnology, sustainable energy, bio-economy, management of water resources, meteorology, and oceanography. The Netherlands hold the tenth position among the countries receiving undergraduate and doctorate scholarships sent abroad by the SwB programme, according to data from the Netherlands Organization for International Cooperation in Higher Education (Nuffic).
In the field of commercial diplomacy, it is noticeable that the Dutch Government and the business community see interesting investment opportunities in Brazil in the medium and long term. Over 400 Dutch companies operate in Brazil. The opening of the Netherlands Foreign Investment agency (NFIA) in São Paulo, in 2012, shows the importance of the country to Holland as a business and investment partner in Latin America.
Data from the Brazilian Central Bank from 2013 (last census) indicate that the Netherlands are the main country of origin of FDI investors in Brazil, by the criterion of immediate investor, with stock of USD 163,4 billion (equal to 28% of the total). Aligned with the Brazilian Central Bank, 2015 ECLAC's report shows the Netherlands as the main source of FDI, with 29% of the total.
The Netherlands attract a growing number of Brazilian companies and are the main destination of Brazilian direct investments abroad. There are currently around 40 Brazilian groups in the country, with different profiles and sizes, among which Embraer, Petrobras, Braskem, JBS, Brazil Food and Continental Juices, in addition to others.
The Port of Rotterdam is the major entry point for Brazilian exports to the European continent.
Regarding recent commercial exchanges, the Netherlands is the fifth largest trading partner of Brazil and the fourth largest individual buyer of Brazilian goods, trade flow having exceeded US$ 12,5 billion in 2015.
Chronology of Bilateral Relations
1997 – Visit to the Netherlands of the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Luiz Felipe Lampreia (April 6to 8)
1998 – Visit to the Netherlands of Vice President Marco Maciel (February 8 to 10)
1998 – Visit to Brazil of the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Hans van Mierlo (March 9 to 11)
1998 – Visit to Brazil of Crown Prince Willem-Alexander (March 8 to 15)
1998 – Visit to Brazil of Crown Prince Willem-Alexander (August 23 to 26)
1998 – Visit to Brazil of Prime-Minister Win Kok (November 27 to December 1)
2000 – Visit to the Netherlands of President Fernando Henrique Cardoso (October 9 to 10)
2003 – Visit to Brazil of Queen Beatrix, Crown Prince Willem-Alexander, and Princess Maxima (March 24 to 29)
2004 – Visit to Brazil of “State Minister” Hans van Mierlo, in the framework of the celebrations of the 4th Centenary of the Birth of Maurice of Nassau (June 17)
2005 – Visit to Brazil of Princess Maxima (November 28 to December 1st)
2007 – Visit to Brazil of the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Bernard Bot (January 16)
2007 – Signature of Memorandum of Understanding on the Establishment of Mechanisms for Political Consultations (January 16)
2008 – Visit of President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva to the Netherlands (April)
2009 – Visit to Brazil of Prime-Minister Jan Peter Balkenende (March 2nd)
2009 – Visit of the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Celso Amorim, to the Netherlands (March).
2010 – Visit to Brazil of the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Maxime Verhagen (April)
2011 – Visit to Brazil of the Minister of Agriculture and Foreign Trade, Henk Bleker, accompanied by a business delegation. Signature of the Memorandum of Understanding for Cooperation in Science and Technology (November 28 to 30)
2012 – Visit of the Minister of Infrastructure, Melanie Schutz van Haegen, accompanied by a business delegation. Signature of Memoranda of Understanding for Cooperation in the areas of Ports, Maritime Transportation and Logistics; and for the construction of a port in Presidente Kennedy (ES) (April 9 to 13)
2012 – Visit of Princess Maxima, at the invitation of the Brazilian Central Bank, for her role in the UN and the G-20 in the field of Financial Inclusion (January 7 to 10)
2012 – Visit to the Port of Rotterdam of the Minister-Chief of Staff of the Presidency of the Republic, Gleisi Hoffman, heading delegation comprising the Chief Minister of the National Secretariat of Ports, Leonidas Cristino; the President of the Brazilian Planning & Logistics Company, Bernardo Figueiredo, among others (August)
2012 – Visit of then Crown Prince Willem-Alexander and Princess Máxima (November 19-23)
2013 – Visit of the Brazilian Navy Commander, Fleet Admiral Júlio Soares de Moura Neto (July 19-22)
2013 – Visit of the Minister of Education, Culture and Science, Jet Bussemaker (June 22-26)
2013 – Visit of the Minister of Foreign Trade Lilianne Ploumen (November)
2013 – Visit of the Chief Minister of the Civil Aviation Secretariat, Wellington Moreira Franco. Signature of Memorandum of Understanding for cooperation in the Area of Air transport (December 9)
2014 – Visit of Vice President Michel Temer, on the occasion of the Third Nuclear Security Summit (23-26 of March)
2014 – Visit of the Chief Minister of the Secretariat of Strategic Affairs of the Presidency, Marcelo Neri (November 27)
2015 – Bilateral meeting between President Dilma Rousseff and the Prime Minister, Mark Rutte, on the margin of the 7th Summit of the Americas, in Panama City (April 11)