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Canada-Brazil relations

Canada and Brazil enjoy relations dating back to 1866, when Canada opened its first trade mission in the country. Diplomatic relations were established in 1941, when Brazil opened its Embassy in Ottawa and Canada followed by opening an Embassy in 1944. Both nations also fought side by side in WWII during the Italian campaign. Today, Canada has an embassy in Brasilia, consulates general in São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro, trade offices in Belo Horizonte, Recife and Porto Alegre, and an honorary consul in Belo Horizonte. Brazil has an embassy in Ottawa and consulates general in Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver.

Bilateral relations

Canada and Brazil enjoy a multifaceted relationship advanced through bilateral mechanisms anchored by a Foreign Minister-led Strategic Partnership Dialogue. High-level government-to-government mechanisms that support the commercial relationship include a Joint Economic Trade Council, a Consultative Committee on Agriculture and a Joint Committee on Science, Technology and Innovation. Mechanisms for additional bilateral discussions with Brazil include political-military talks and a mobility working group. Parliamentary “Friendship Groups” exist in Brazil’s Congress and Canada’s Parliament.

Education

Education remains a growing strength in our bilateral relations. In 2019, there were 14,560 Brazilian students in Canada with study permits and approximately 25,000 students pursued short-term language study in Canada, according to Languages Canada.  The total number of Brazilians who studied in Canada in 2019, including those pursuing short term studies that do not require a study permit, is estimated at 40,000, making Canada the number one international destination for Brazilian students. Additionally, Brazil is the largest beneficiary of Canada’s Emerging Leaders in the Americas Program in Latin America, and Canadian education associations are very active in Brazil—many have signed agreements with Brazilian government entities and with Brazilian universities. 

Mobility

Mobility, migration and refugee issues have been integral components of Canada’s relationship with Brazil in recent years. Through dialogue and engagement, we have been able to increase our cooperation, including through the Canada-Brazil Mobility Working Group, which was last held in Brasilia in February 2020. Provinces and various economic development entities, with the support of programs such as the Global Skills Strategy and the Invest in Canadian Communities Initiatives, often lead missions to recruit temporary skilled workers from Brazil. With close to 200,000 Brazilians who visited Canada in 2018, Brazil is the 11th most important source of tourists to Canada.

Human Rights

Canada launched Human Rights Consultations in March 2017, and Canadian representatives maintain a sustained dialogue on human rights in their interactions with Brazilian authorities. Canada also continues to advance and promote human rights in Brazil, including through local initiatives advancing the rights of women, LGBTQ2, indigenous peoples and migrants.

Defense and Security

The strong security and defence links between Canada and Brazil have been established through cooperation on United Nations peacekeeping, and to promote the women, peace and security agenda. Given Brazil’s importance as a regional player, strong service-to-service ties, and an increased role in regional peace support operations, Brazil is a key partner in the hemisphere for the Department of National Defence and the Canadian Armed Forces.

Trade relations

Canada’s trade and investment relationship with Brazil has seen steady growth in recent years. Major two-way foreign investment flows continue to expand as does the bilateral trade of goods and services.

In this regard, Canada is currently in negotiations for a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with the Mercosur trading bloc, in which Brazil plays a major role. Launched in March 2018, the Canada-Mercosur FTA negotiations continue to be a priority for Canada and Brazil.

Brazil is Canada’s third largest trading partner in the Americas after the U.S. and Mexico. Merchandise trade between Canada and Brazil totalled $7.7 billion in 2019. Top Canadian merchandise exports to Brazil include fertilizers (45.4%), machinery and parts (11.8%), mineral fuels and oils (7.1%), and aircraft and parts (5.9%). Canada’s main merchandise imports from Brazil include inorganic chemicals, (27.1%), precious stones and metals (23.5%), machinery (7.7%) and iron and steel (4.7%). Two-way services trade in 2019 was $1.4 billion.

Canadian direct investment in Brazil stood at $12.2 billion in 2019, making Brazil Canada’s 15th largest destination for investment. Brazil’s stock of foreign direct investment in Canada was $15.4 billion in 2019, making it the 10th largest investor in Canada.

Science, Technology and Innovation

In 2020, Brazil and Canada are celebrating the 10th anniversary of the Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) Agreement. The agreement includes the establishment of a Joint Committee to promote bilateral science, technology and innovation collaboration between Canadian and Brazilian partners from industry, academia and government.

Funding for research collaboration under a framework agreement on STI is provided through Global Affairs Canada’s Canadian International Innovation Program, which supports collaborative industrial research and development projects with high potential for commercialization between Canada and partner countries. It is delivered in collaboration with the National Research Council of Canada’s Industrial Research Assistance Program.

Brazil and Canada also signed in July 2020 a bilateral Memorandum of Understanding on agricultural research, which establishes a formal joint framework to underpin and enhance existing cooperation.

The Canadian Trade Commissioner Service has identified significant commercial opportunities for Canadian companies in a number of key sectors that are well suited to Canadian capabilities and interests:

  • information and communications technology
  • digital technologies
  • clean technology
  • education
  • life sciences
  • power and renewable energy
  • aerospace
  • agriculture and agri-food

In addition to these priority sectors, important opportunities for Canadian companies exist in:

  • oil and gas
  • mining
  • defence and security
  • infrastructure
  • ocean technologies
  • automotive
  • forestry
  • machinery and industrial equipment
  • services and tourism

Export Development Canada (EDC) is Canada’s export credit agency since 1944. EDC is a financially self-sustaining Crown Corporation and an international risk expert, which provides financing and bonding solutions as well as connections and market intelligence to Canadian exporters and investors doing business abroad. In 2019 its business in Brazil reached $2.65 billion in total volume, as it served 352 clients – out of which 221 SMEs – with its insurance and financing solutions. EDC has offices in Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo since the early 2000s.

Trade and investment agreements

Other trade and investment agreements involving Canada and Brazil include:

For more information, consult trade and investment agreements.

Partnerships and organizations

To develop effective responses to today’s most pressing global challenges, Canada and Brazil also work closely in multilateral fora, such as:

Canada and Brazil collaborate closely on key geopolitical issues such as international efforts to promote a peaceful return to democracy in Venezuela. Canada and Brazil collaborate in bodies such as the Lima Group, supporting Venezuelans fleeing the crisis in their country.

A key member of the Canadian-led Ottawa Group on World Trade Organization (WTO) Reform, Brazil also plays a constructive role in efforts to address specific challenges that put the multilateral trading system under stress, by finding ways to achieve meaningful, realistic, pragmatic reforms to the WTO over the short, medium and long terms.

Canada and Brazil also work to advance the Sustainable Development Goals agenda through our development cooperation efforts. We seek to advance the Canada-Brazil development relationship through policy dialogue, joint policy research, enhanced institutional links and, at times, technical-cooperation activities in third countries.

Canada-Brazil fact sheet

What we're doing

Read stories about Canada’s efforts in Brazil.

Canada’s projects in Brazil

Canada and Brazil are development cooperation partners. Together, we seek to advance the Canada-Brazil development relationship through policy dialogue, joint policy research, enhanced institutional links and technical-cooperation activities in third countries.

Total projects: 17

Number of projects per sector
# of projects
Higher education1
Democratic participation and civil society1
Civilian peace-building, conflict prevention and resolution1
Countering Violent Extremism (CVE) and Foreign Terrorist Fighters (FTF)1
Cybercrime1
Narcotics control2
Multisector aid4
Sectors not specified5
Promotion of development awareness1

For more information, search Global Affairs Canada’s Project Brower.

Canada Fund for Local Initiatives

The Canada Fund for Local Initiatives (CFLI) provides funding for small projects implemented by local organizations in Brazil to offer direct social, economic or technical assistance to local populations.

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