Brazil is Latin America’s giant in every sense of the word. Brazil’s highly diversified and industrialized economy is the largest in Latin America, and the 8th largest globally. The country has mature manufacturing, mining and agriculture sectors and rapidly expanding technology and services industries. It is also home to the most sophisticated and diversified science, technology and innovation system in Latin America. Having made important economic reforms over the past few years, Brazilians are now reaping the benefits of new-found stability and growth. After 16 years of economic stability and relatively little impact from the global financial crisis, Brazil’s economic fundamentals are strong. As with Canada, Brazil is experiencing rising commodity exports and an overvalued currency, driving up the price of its manufactured exports. Several challenges will test the vibrancy of Brazil’s economy in the next few years, notably improving the country’s dilapidated infrastructure and addressing an overheating economy in which manufactured imports are soaring and exports lagging. International corporations are investing billions in Brazil, effectively securing its place in regional and global supply chains. The country is also becoming a major source of outward investment. Furthermore, with 191 million people, a well-educated middle class and millions of working-class citizens, Brazil’s importance as a consumer market is on a steep upward swing. To take advantage of the myriad commercial opportunities that Brazil offers, Canadians will need to be aware of key commercial influences, including foreign competition, import tariffs, tax and regulatory systems, labour supply and infrastructure challenges.
The Government of Canada has identified Brazil as a GCS priority market—based on extensive consultation with government, academic and Canadian business and industry representatives—and has developed a comprehensive Market Plan that identifies the following key sectors as offering clear opportunities well suited to Canadian capabilities and interests in the market:
Canada-Brazil Commercial Relations, 2005-2009 ($ Millions)
The Government of Canada recognizes the importance of Brazil—both commercially and politically—as a strategic partner in the global arena as well as in the context of Canada’s re-engagement in the Americas. The Canada-Brazil relationship is dynamic, wide-ranging and multi-dimensional. In addition to monitoring and influencing Brazilian commercial policies and regulations in favour of Canadian interests, Canada’s Trade Commissioners in Brazil are actively promoting the full range of business development activities. Brazil is a priority market for investment attraction, retention and expansion initiatives and a key partner for science and technology collaboration. Trade Commissioners are proactively engaged in investment prospecting efforts, specifically targeting high-growth companies in sectors of comparative advantage for Canada. Canada and Brazil have both ratified a Framework Agreement for Cooperation on Science, Technology and Innovation, as of April 2010, and are collaborating on funding for joint projects, especially in the areas of renewable energy, information and communications technology and biotechnology. Trade Commissioners are also intensifying efforts to understand the global value chains of the largest multinationals present in Brazil, with a view to discovering new opportunities for Canadian business.
The Government of Canada has expanded its footprint in Brazil by opening two new trade offices in Porto Alegre and Recife and by expanding the trade teams in the existing missions in Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro. Across Canada, the Trade Commissioner Service continues to disseminate information on business opportunities in Brazil, while also encouraging the retention and expansion of existing Brazilian investment in Canada and promoting Brazil as a key partner for science and technology.
Canada and Brazil cooperate in various international forums, including the World Trade Organization (WTO), the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) the United Nations (UN) and the Organization of American States (OAS). Canada also has a number of bilateral trade and investment policy instruments in place that are helping to facilitate and support Canadian commercial engagement in the country:
Unless otherwise stated, all data is for 2009 and expressed in Canadian dollars. All data based on latest available national statistics drawn from a variety of sources, including Statistics Canada, Export Development Canada, Bank of Canada, IMF WEO, UNCTAD
For further information about the Brazil, visit the Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada website or contact the Trade Commissioner Service at 1-888-306-9991.
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