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The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland

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Brazil-United Kingdom Strategic Partnership

The British government has singled out Brazil as one of the priority countries for its foreign policy. Besides the importance attributed to the country in the fields of trade and investments, Brazil is identified as a strategic partner of the UK in the most important international fora, on account of the convergence of values (democracy, environmental protection, human rights promotion) and the perception of the diplomatic ability of Brazil to exercise leadership among developing countries.

Consequently, the exchange of high level visits has been significant. In addition to the visits of President Dilma Rousseff to London (July 2012) and of Prime-Minister David Cameron to Brazil (September 2012), Deputy Prime-Minister Nick Clegg was in Brazil twice (June 2011 and June 2012, on the occasion of the Rio+20 Conference) and Vice-President Michel Temer, in turn, visited the United Kingdom twice (August 2012 and June 2013).

The latest editions of the Brazil-United Kingdom Strategic Dialogue were held in London, on February 5, 2013, during the visit to the United Kingdom of then Minister of Foreign Affairs Antonio de Aguiar Patriota, and in Brasília, on February 19, 2014, during the visit to Brazil of then Foreign Secretary William Hague.

Economic-Commercial Relations

Brazil and the United Kingdom maintain economic-commercial relations which have progressively grown in recent years. In 2012, Brazilian exports to the United Kingdom amounted to US$ 4.5 billion, making the country the eleventh destination market for our exports in the world. Among the members of the European Union, the United Kingdom was the fourth destination for Brazilian products, absorbing 9.2% of Brazil's total sales to this bloc in 2012. The Brazilian export basket to the United Kingdom is diversified. In 2012, commodities accounted for 32.2% of total shipments; manufactured items, 37.2%, and semi manufactured goods, 30.1%.

British companies present in Brazil are among the largest in the country in terms of revenues. According to the records of the Central Bank, the United Kingdom’s investments in Brazil in 2012 reached nearly US$ 2 billion (US$ 2.7 billion in 2011), being the 8th largest investor in the country (5th in 2011). The following sectors stand out as major sectors of British investments in Brazil: oil and gas, energy, mining, and multiservice banks.

Brazilian companies, in turn, have substantially increased their presence in the United Kingdom. Data from the Central Bank show that the flow of Brazilian direct investment to the United Kingdom in 2011 reached US$ 984 million. The figures for 2012 show investments by Brazilian companies in the United Kingdom of about US$ 171 million. 

 “Science Without Borders” in the United Kingdom

Bilateral relations have also benefited from the significant participation of the United Kingdom in the “Science Without Borders” programme, under which 10 thousand Brazilian students studied in the United Kingdom by 2015.

The United Kingdom joined the programme through an agreement signed in Brasília, in December 2011, by CNPq, CAPES, and ‘Universities UK” (UUK). The United Kingdom is the fourth main destination for scholarship students from all the categories of “Science Without Borders”, with 5 thousand scholarships granted by the end of 2013.


The United Kingdom and Brazil, as hosts of the 2012 and 2016 Olympic Games, respectively, signed in 2010 a Memorandum of Understanding on the Cooperation to Develop the Legacies of the Olympics. The document provides for measures for the consolidation of networks of contacts between British and Brazilian companies, in order to support and encourage investments and joint ventures.

Brazilian Community in the United Kingdom

A topic that has received special attention in the context of bilateral relations is the Brazilian community in the United Kingdom, estimated at about 130 thousand citizens, the largest in Europe. The Under Secretary General for Brazilian Communities Abroad visited London in May 2013, when he launched the “Council of Brazilian Citizens in the United Kingdom”

Cronology of Bilateral Relations

1825 – The United Kingdom recognizes the independence of Brazil

1890 – The United Kingdom recognizes, on December 3, the Republic of Brazil

1901 – Bilateral arbitration of the frontier with British Guiana

1902 – As Foreign Minister in charge, Baron of Rio Branco defends the change of axis of the foreign policy from London to Washington

1919 – Legation of Brazil in London is elevated to Embassy status. Reciprocally, the United Kingdom elevates the Legation in Rio de Janeiro to Embassy

1944 – At the Dumbarton Oaks Conference, the British and the Soviets reject the proposal of the United States of a permanent seat to Brazil on the United Nations Security Council

1968 – Queen Elizabeth II pays the first official visit to Brazil by a member of the British royalty

1982 – Brazil remains neutral in the Malvinas War, while recognizing Argentinian sovereignty, forbidding the landing and overflight of British airplanes

1997 – State visit of President Fernando Henrique Cardoso to the United Kingdom

2001 – Prime-Minister Tony Blair makes the first official visit of a British Head of Government to Brazil

2003 – The United Kingdom announces the support for a permanent seat to Brazil on the United Nations Security Council

2003 – Participation of President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva in the Progressive Governance Summit

2005 – Mistaken for a terrorist, Brazilian Jean Charles de Menezes is killed in London by the Metropolitan Police

2005 – Visit of President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, during the G8 Summit, in Gleneagles

2006 – On her first visit abroad, Foreign Secretary Margareth Beckett makes her inauguration speech at FGV

2006 – State visit of President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva to London

2007 – In a telephone conversation, Prime-Minister Gordon Brown reiterates to President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva the British support for a permanent seat on the United Nations Security Council and for the presence of the country in the "outreach" G8+5

2009 – Fourth visit of Prince Charles to Brazil, after 1978, 1991, and 2002

2009 – Prime-Minister Gordon Brown pays his first visit to Brazil

2009 – President Lula visits London in the context of the G20 Summit

2009 – President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva receives the Chatham House Prize and participates in an Investments Seminar in the United Kingdom

2011 – Visit to Brazil of Deputy Prime-Minister Nick Clegg, accompanied by significant business delegation

2012 The Secretary of State for International Development of the United Kingdom, Andrew Mitchell, to visit Brazil (April)

2012  President Dilma Rousseff visits London for the opening of the Olympics (July)

2012 – Prime-Minister David Cameron visits Brazil (September)

2013Minister Antonio Patriota visits London, on the occasion of the Second Meeting of the Brazil-United Kingdom Strategic Dialogue Mechanism (February 4-5)

2014Visit of the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs William Hague to Manaus, Brasília and São Paulo (February 17-19)

2015 – Minister Mauro Vieira visits London, on the occasion of the 4th Meeting of the Brazil-United Kingdom Strategic Dialogue Mechanism (February 25)

2016Minister Mauro Vieira visits London, when he maintains a working meeting with the Minister of State for Trade and Investment, Lord Maude, on the sidelines of the Supporting Syria and the Region Conference (February 4)

2016 – Visit of the Secretary of State for International Trade and President of the Board of Trade of the United Kingdom (December 7)

2017 – The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Aloysio Nunes, visits London and maintains a working meeting with the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, Boris Johnson (August 25)

2018Brazil and the United Kingdom will launch a Joint Year of Science and Innovation (February 27)

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