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Swiss Confederation


Traditionally friendly, relations between Brazil and Switzerland were lifted to the highest level with the signature of the Memorandum of Understanding for the Establishment of a Strategic Partnership Plan, when of the visit to Brazil of the Swiss Minister of Foreign Affairs, Micheline Calmy-Rey (2008).

Partnerships in science, technology and innovation are an important part of the relations. In bilateral cooperation, projects stand out in areas such as neuroscience, health, energy and the environment – with perspectives for future cooperation in nanotechnology, information and communication technologies, renewable energies, human and social sciences.

In mid-2000, Switzerland established strategic relationships not only with Brazil, but also with Russia, India and China (“BRICS Strategy”). This interest was formalized during the visit of the Federal Counselor of Economic Affairs, Doris Leuthard, (2007), when the Joint Committee on Economic-Commercial Relations was created – which, since then, has met five times.

From 2007 to 2012, bilateral trade grew 35.3%, reaching 4.47 billion. Around 350 companies of Swiss origin operate in Brazil – some are present in the country for over 90 years. It is estimated that, together, these companies generate about 90 thousand direct jobs. Brazilian companies have installed their European headquarters there.

Chronology of Bilateral Relations

1818 – D. João VI authorizes one hundred Swiss families to settle as immigrants at Morro Queimado Farm, in Rio de Janeiro

1820 – With the arrival of new Swiss immigrants, the colony prospers and it turns into the village of Nova Friburgo”

1826 – Recognition of the independence of Brazil by the government of the Swiss Confederation

1855 – Designation of the first diplomatic representative of Brazil in Switzerland, José Francisco Guimarães, as Consul in Bern

1899/1900 – Baron of Rio Branco, in charge of the Brazilian defense in the arbitration of the Swiss Government on the territorial dispute with France over the issue of Amapá, resides in Bern

1907 – Designation of the first diplomatic representative of Switzerland in Brazil, Albert Gertsch, as Chargé d'Affaires

1948 – First air connection between Brazil and Switzerland, with Panair

1958 – Elevation of the Switzerland Legation in Rio de Janeiro to Embassy status

1959 – Elevation of the Brazilian Legation in Bern to Embassy status; the first Ambassador of Brazil in Switzerland, Afrânio de Mello Franco, is assigned.

1994 – First visit to Brazil of the President of the Swiss Confederation, Jean Pascal Delamuraz

1997 – First official visit of a Swiss Minister of Foreign Affairs to Brazil, Federal Counselor Flavio Cotti

1998 – First official visit of Brazilian Head of State to Bern, President Fernando Henrique Cardoso

2007 – Signature, in Brasília, by Foreign Minister Celso Amorim and by Federal Counselor Doris Leuthard, of Memorandum of Understanding creating the Joint Committee of Economic and Commercial Relations

2007 – Visit to Switzerland of Foreign Minister Celso Amorim

2008 – Visit to Brazil of the Federal Counselor for Foreign Affairs, Micheline Calmy-Rey

2010 – Meeting of Bilateral Political Consultations between the Secretary-General of Foreign Affairs, Antonio de Aguiar Patriota, and the State Secretary of Foreign Affairs of the Swiss Confederation, Peter Maurer, in Bern

2011Signature of Agreement between the Government of the Federative Republic of Brazil and the Swiss Federal Council on the Exchange of Trainees (October 13)

2015Signature of Treaty between Switzerland and the Federative Republic of Brazil on the transfer of sentenced persons - Brasilia, November 23

2016The President of the Swiss Confederation and Federal Councillor for Economic Affairs, Education and Research, Johann Schneider-Ammann, visits Brazil, when he is received in Brasilia by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, José Serra (August 4 to 7)


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