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India-Brazil brief

            India and Brazil share a very close and multifaceted relationship both at bilateral level as well as in plurilateral fora such as BRICS, BASIC, G-20, G-4, IBSA, International Solar Alliance, as well as in the larger multilateral bodies such as the UN, WTO, UNESCO, and WIPO. The two countries have been Strategic Partners since 2006. The bilateral relationship is based on a common global vision, shared democratic values, and a commitment to foster economic growth with social inclusion for the welfare of the people of both countries.

2.         Pedro Alvares Cabral, a Portuguese explorer landed on the East Coast of Brazil in 1500, two years after Vasco de Gama had landed in India. Between the 16th and 18th centuries, Brazil and Goa, both outposts of the Portuguese imperialist empire, had bilateral exchanges that are reflected in food and dressing as well as local traditions. Another remarkable, but relatively unknown facet of India-Brazil bilateral relations is that the bulk of Brazilian cattle are of Indian origin. More recently, the popularity of a Brazilian tele-novella called ‘Caminho das Indias’ (Paths of India) has had a great impact in enhancing awareness of India in the minds of the Brazilian public.

3.         Diplomatic relations were established in 1948, with both countries opening the embassies in the same year. India has a Consulate General in Sao Paulo while Brazil has a Consulate General in Mumbai. India opened its Embassy in Rio de Janeiro, which was later moved to Brasilia in 1971. The two countries have been Strategic Partners for more than a decade.

4.         India’s Strategic Partnership with Brazil has continued to intensify with a number high level engagements. At the invitation of PM Modi, President Bolsonaro paid a State Visit to India from 25-27 January 2020. He was the Chief Guest at India’s Republic Day Parade on 26 January 2020 and was accompanied by a high-level delegation which included eight Ministers, four Members of Parliament, senior officials of the Brazilian Government and members of business community. During the visit, an Action Plan to Strengthen the Strategic Partnership between India and Brazil was adopted, which provides a roadmap aimed at revitalizing ongoing engagements in a focused manner. Fifteen MoUs/ Agreements in diverse sectors that include Investment, Assistance in Criminal Matters, Cyber Security, Oil & Gas, Bio-energy, S&T, Culture, Animal Husbandry, Health and Traditional Medicines were signed.

High Level Visits

5.         Regular high level exchange of visits have provided a sustained impetus to the growing relationship. A list of VVIP visits is given below:

From India to Brazil

From Brazil to India

Dr. S. Radhakrishnan,
Vice President (1954)

Mr. Fernando Henrique Cardoso,
President (1996)

Ms. Indira Gandhi,
PM (1968)

Mr. Luiz Inacio Lula DA Silva,
President (2004, 2007 and 2008)

Dr. Manmohan Singh,
PM (2006, 2010, 2012)

Mr. Jair Bolsonaro,
President (2020)

Ms. Pratibha Patil,
President (2008)


Mr. Narendra Modi,
PM (BRICS) (2014, 2019)



Foreign Minister-level Interactions

6.         External Affairs Minister (EAM) Dr. S. Jaishankar visited Brazil on 23-24 August, 2022  to co-chair the 8th India-Brazil Joint Commission Meeting with his counterpart Amb. Carlos Alberto França in which both sides reviewed the entire gamut of bilateral relationship and discussed cooperation in the areas of trade and investment, sustainable development, energy with focus on bio-fuel, agriculture and livestock, health and traditional medicine, science and technology, defence affairs, counter-terrorism, consular and legal affairs, regional and global issues, including reformed multilateralism.

7. Earlier, EAM had met his counterpart Amb. França on the side-lines of the G20 Foreign Minister’s Meeting in Bali in July 2022, G4 Foreign Ministers’ Meeting on the sidelines of the 76th UNGA in September 2021. On 14th January 2022, EAM held a telephone call with Amb. França where he held discussions on bilateral relations as well as cooperation in BRICS, IBSA and UNSC. In January 2021, EAM spoke twice to former Foreign Minister Mr. Ernesto Araujo in connection with the Brazilian request for facilitation for purchase of 2 million doses of Covishield vaccine from Serum Institute of India.

Ministerial visits from India (since 2014)

8.         Ministerial visits from India are as below:

  • Shri V. Muraleedharan, Minister of State for External and Parliamentary Affairs (November, 2022);
  • Shri Parshottam Rupala, Minister of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and Dairying (May 2022);
  • Shri Raj Kumar Singh, MoS (IC) for Power and New & Renewable Energy (November 2019);
  • Shri Ajit Doval, National Security Advisor (October 2019);
  • Shri Ashwini Kumar Choubey, MoS for Health & Family Welfare (October 2019);
  • Shri Prahlad Singh Patel, MoS (IC) for Culture and Tourism (October 2019);
  • Dr. Harsh Vardhan, Minister of Science and Technology (September 2019),
  • Shri Prakash Javadekar, Environment Minister (August 2019),
  • Gen (Dr.) V. K. Singh (Retd.), MoS Road Transport and Highways (July 2019),
  • Shri Mansukh L. Mandaviya, Minister of State for Road Transport & Highways, Shipping and Chemicals & Fertilizers (April 2017);
  • Shri. Ram Vilas Paswan, Minister for Consumer Affair, Food and Public Distribution (August, 2016);
  • Shri Nitin Gadkari, Minister for Road Transport, Highways and Shipping (November, 2015);
  • Minister of Science and Technology, Dr. Harsh Vardhan (March 2015);
  • Minister of Agriculture, Shri Radha Mohan Singh (March 2015);
  • Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman, MoS for Commerce and Industry (July 2014).


Ministerial visits from Brazil (since 2014)

9.         The following are the Ministerial visits from Brazil since 2014:

  • Mr. Bento Albuquerque, Minister of Mines and Energy (April 2022)
  • Mr. Marcos Pontes, Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation (February 2021)
  • Mrs. Tereza Cristina, Minister of Agriculture, Livestock and Supply (January 2020)
  • Mr. Bento Albuquerque, Minister of Mines and Energy (January 2020)
  • Mr. Fernando Coelho Filho, Minister of Mines and Energy (November, 2016)
  • Mr. Blairo Maggi, Minister of Agriculture (September 2016)
  • Ambassador Mauro Vieira, Minister of External Relations (November 2015)
  • Ms. Katia Abreu, Minister of Agriculture (November 2015)


Institutional Mechanisms

10.       As Strategic Partners, India and Brazil have several Institutional mechanisms to coordinate various aspects of their bilateral relationship. This includes Joint Commission Meeting (Foreign Minister level), Strategic Dialogue (NSA), Foreign Office Consultations (Secretary), Trade Monitoring Mechanism (TMM), Economic and Financial Dialogue, Dialogue on Consular and Mobility Issues, Joint Defence Commission, Joint Committee on Science & Technology and India-Brazil Business Leaders Forum. Last meeting of the TMM was held on 24 January 2020. Both sides also have several Joint Working Groups to take forward sectoral cooperation. The 8th India-Brazil Joint Commission Meeting was held on 24th August, 2022.

Parliamentary Exchanges

11.       Parliamentary exchanges is another major feature of India-Brazil bilateral relations. There are three India-Brazil Parliamentary Fora that are currently active in Brazil: (i) India-Brazil Parliamentary Front is headed by Federal Deputy Daniel Pires Coelho and has 210 members from different political parties, (ii) India-Brazil Parliamentary Friendship Group is headed by Federal Deputy Vinicius Carvalho and 24 members from different political parties, and (iii) India-Brazil Friendship Front headed by Senator Nelson Trad. In India, there was an India-LAC Parliamentary Friendship Group during the 16th term of Lok Sabha.  A Brazilian Parliamentary delegation attended the BRICS Women Parliamentarians’ Forum in Jaipur, India on 20-21 August, 2016.

The Brazilian Congress held a Special Session in commemoration of 75 years of India´s independence on 8th November, which was addressed by Shri V. M. Muraleedharan, MoS for External and Parliamentary Affairs.

Trade and Investment

12.       In 2021, India became the 5th largest trading partner of Brazil and the bilateral trade between India and Brazil increased by 63.5% to US$ 11.527 billion compared to US$ 7.052 billion in 2020. This included US$ 6.728 billion as Indian exports to Brazil and US$ 4.799 billion imports from Brazil, with India having trade surplus of US$ 1.929 billion. Major Indian exports to Brazil includes processed Petroleum products, Agro-chemicals (insecticides, fungicides), Chemicals, Pharmaceutical, Textured filament yarn, and Unwrought Aluminum. Brazilian exports to India included Crude oil, soya oil, Gold (non-monetary), cane sugar, cotton, gum, wood and turpentine oils, chemicals (carboxylic acids) and iron ore and concentrates.

13. Total Indian investment in Brazil is estimated at more than US$ 6 billion. Brazilian investments in India are around US$ 1 billion. Sterlite Group from India has recently won a power transmission project worth US$ 800 million and is planning to invest approximately US$ 2 billion in Brazil. United Phosphorus Limited has set-up a new plant in Sao Paulo for US$ 150 million and are keen to develop pulses segment including chickpeas and lentils. Major Indian companies in Brazil are Glenmark, ZydusCadila, Sun Pharma, Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories, Pidilite Industries Limited, ONGC Videsh Limited (OVL), NMDC Limited, TVS, Tata Motors, Infosys and Wipro. Major Brazilian companies present in India are Polo (auto mobiles), Vale (mining), Stefanini (IT), Gerdau (Steel), WEG (Heavy Electrical motors/generators etc.), Compsis (Toll Road software system), Dedini (Ethanol production), Farmas Kunz (footwear), Perto (Fabrication of ATMs), Fanem (Hospital instrumentation).


Trade Monitoring Mechanism

14.       India and Brazil have established Trade Monitoring Mechanism as an institutional mechanism to monitor and identify bottlenecks in bilateral trade and take appropriate measures to address them. Since 2008, the TMM has met five times. The last meeting was held on 24 January 2020 in New Delhi.


India-Brazil Business Leaders Forum

15.       The India-Brazil CEO Forum was constituted in 2012 and was re-christened as India-Brazil Business Leader’s Forum in January 2016. The Indian composition of the Forum was constituted in January 2016 with 16 nominated members and FICCI was designated as the supporting Chamber. In January 2020, on the side lines of President Bolsonaro's visit, a meeting of India-Brazil Business Forum was held in New Delhi.


16.       MERCOSUR is a regional trading bloc comprising of Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay and Paraguay. India signed a Preferential Trade Agreement (PTA) with MERCOSUR in 2004. Both sides have since agreed to expand the PTA from its current list of 450 items so as to further enhance commercial ties between India and MERCOSUR, including growth and diversification of trade. There is also interest in India and Brazil for the expansion of India-MERCOSUR PTA towards a more comprehensive and agreement. The last round of talks with MERCOSUR, was held on 24 September 2019 and the issue was also discussed in TMM meeting held on 24 January 2020.

Defence & Security Cooperation

18.       India and Brazil signed an agreement in 2003 for cooperation in defence. Meetings of Joint Defence Committee (JDC) are held as an institutionalized mechanism for defence cooperation. Seven JDC meetings have taken place so far between the two sides. The 7th JDC meeting was held in Dec 2021 in New Delhi.

Security Cooperation

20.       India and Brazil established a Strategic Dialogue mechanism in 2006 to cover regional and global issues of mutual concern. The last meeting was held in November 2015 in New Delhi. The two countries already have an Extradition Treaty, Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty in Criminal Matters and an Agreement of Transfer of Sentenced Persons in place.

21.       An MoU on cooperation in the area of Cyber Security between CERT-In and its
counterpart agency was signed during the State Visit of President Bolsonaro in January
2020. India and Brazil also cooperate in cyber issues at BRICS and IBSA.

Space Cooperation

22.       India and Brazil signed a framework agreement for peaceful use of outer space in 2004 as well an Agreement inter-institutional cooperation between the space agencies. Both countries have been collaborating in Data sharing and satellite tracking of Indian satellites.

23.       Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation of Brazil Mr. Marcos Pontes visited India from 23 February to 1 March 2021. During the visit, Minister Pontes witnessed the launch of Brazilian satellite Amazonia-1 at Satish Dhawan Space Center, Sriharikota. Amazonia-1 is the first Earth Observation satellite to be completely designed, integrated, tested and operated by Brazil. New Space India Limited (NSIL), the commercial arm of ISRO has signed a launch service agreement for its launch on board PSLV as its primary payload. The satellite will provide remote sensing images to observe and monitor deforestation, especially in the Amazonia region, as well as monitor the diversified agriculture throughout the country.

24.       As part of AKAM, a month long Exhibition on India’s Space Program under the theme ‘A Journey into Space - ISRO's History,' was inaugurated on 20 May 2022 at Planetarium, Brasilia by Shri Parshottam Rupala, Minister of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and Dairying of India. A high level delegation from ISRO also attended the Exhibition and held talks with Brazilian Space Agency (AEB).

Cooperation in Bio-fuels, Oil & Gas

26.       Brazil with total crude oil reserves of 13.4 billion barrels has the 2nd largest oil reserves in South America after Venezuela. India imports crude oil from Brazil. In 2020, India imported crude oil worth US$ 1.8 billion from Brazil. Brazil is also the destination for India's largest upstream investment in South America. Our public sector companies viz. OVL and BPRL have together invested over US$ 3.2 billion (till March 2019) in exploratory and producing assets in Brazil.

27.       Minister of Mines and Energy of Brazil, Mr. Bento Albuquerque visited India on 19-22 April 2022 accompanied by a delegation of private sector leaders of the biofuels and automotive sector. During the visit both sides reviewed the existing bilateral cooperation across the entire spectrum of the energy sector and committed to enhance the beneficial partnership between the countries.

28. Shri Pankaj Jain, Secretary, Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas, led an official delegation to Brazil from 21st -24th September 2022. He held meetings with the Minister of the Ministry of Mines & Energy and CEO Petrobras, and reviewed the existing bilateral cooperation in energy sector and discussed about investments in oil & gas sector, sourcing of crude and trade in petroleum products and cooperation in biofuels and bioenergy sector. An agreement between Indian Oil and Petrobras was signed for sourcing of Brazilian crude.

29.       Bio-energy sector offers large business potential for Brazilian companies, who are already leaders in this sector. India and Brazil are already co-operating in multilateral forums such as Bio platforms. 'National Biofuel Policy' of India and 'Renova Bio' Programme of Brazil have some common objectives related to increase in the current blending percentage of bio-fuel with Petrol and Diesel. An MoU on Cooperation between India and Brazil in the area of Bio-energy was signed during the State Visit of President of Brazil to India. A Joint Working Group on Bio-fuels was set-up under the MoU and its first meeting was held in virtual mode in August 2021. During the meeting, both sides presented an overview of technology and policies in the area as well as priorities for action to further enhance cooperation in the field.

30.       Brazil signed the International Solar Alliance (ISA) Agreement in 2019. The Agreement is undergoing ratification process in the Brazilian Parliament.

Cooperation in, Agriculture, Food Processing and Animal Husbandry

31.       Agriculture, food processing and animal husbandry are other key focus areas for bilateral cooperation. The cattle of Brazil and India share the same genetic heritage. Indian cattle like Gir and Kankrej, which were exported centuries back has been suitably
modified to yield large quantities of milk. Both sides are working on training and capacity
building including Technology Transfer.

32.       Shri Parshottam Rupala, Minister of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and Dairying of India visited Brazil in May 2022 and held discussions with Mr. Marcos Montes Cordeiro, Minister of Agriculture, Livestock and Supply on further strengthening cooperation for mutual benefit. Shri. Jai Parkash Dalal, Minister of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare and Animals Husbandry & Dairying Fisheries, Government of State of Haryana, India led a delegation to Brazil from 4 to 7 July 2022. He held discussions with Mr. Jean Marcel Fernandes, Secretary of Trade and International Relations, Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Supply of Brazil on strengthening ties in the areas of dairy development and improvement of cattle breeds.

Health and Traditional Medicine

33.       An MoU for cooperation in health was signed in January 2020. The first meeting of the Joint Working Group on Health held in March 2022 wherein the two sides explored areas of mutual interest and potential collaboration such as health surveillance, technology transfer and joint research.

34.       Ayurveda and Yoga are both included as alternative therapies in the Policy of Integrative and Complimentary Practices (PNPIC) of Brazilian Health Ministry. The Brazilian Association of Ayurveda (ABRA) is a non-profit association with offices in 9 states of Brazil and members all over Brazil.

35.       During the State visit of President Bolsonaro to India in January 2020, India and Brazil signed an MoU on cooperation in the field of Traditional Systems of Medicine and Homeopathy. The 1st JWG meeting under the MoU held in Brasilia on 7th November, 2022.

Technical Cooperation & Scholarships

36.       Brazil is covered under the Scholarship scheme of the Indian Council of Cultural
relations (ICCR) with two fixed slots annually. Brazil is also covered under the AYUSH Scholarship Scheme. In the last seven years (2011 onwards) around 55 Brazilians have
availed of the ITEC programme for training in communications, management and defence. Nine slots in various defence courses have been utilized under ITEC in the last
five years. Four Brazilian diplomats underwent training at the Sushma Swaraj Institute of Foreign Service, New Delhi for the Professional Course for Foreign Diplomats (PCFD) and Disarmament and Internal Security Fellowship programme.

Cultural Relations

39.       In Brazil, there is a lot of interest in India’s culture, religion, performing arts and philosophy. Ramakrishna Mission, ISKCON, Satya Sai Baba, Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, Bhakti Vedanta Foundation and other spiritual gurus and organizations have chapters in Brazil. Folkloric traditions and celebrations from India relate a lot to the joyful and colorful festivities in Brazil. Indian philosophy, spirituality and religion were the first forms of Indian culture to reach Brazil. The first classical Indian art form to come to Brazil was Bharatanatyam, followed by Odissi, Kathak and Kuchipudi.

40.       India’s first cultural centre in Latin America was opened in Sao Paulo in May 2011. ICCR has deputed a Teacher of Indian Culture at the Cultural centre in CGI Sao Paulo and the Embassy of India in Brasilia. A Cultural Exchange Programme (CEP) for the years 2020-2024 was signed during the State Visit of President Bolsonaro to India in January 2020.

41.       Brazil has a strong community of Yoga and Ayurveda practitioners.  There are numerous organizations teaching Yoga all over Brazil. Regular Yoga classes are organised at the Embassy of India in Brazil since September 2017. In 2015, the 1 st International Day of Yoga (IDY) was celebrated in 12 major cities of Brazil and Correois, Brazil (Brazilian Postal Department) issued a stamp on this occasion. All the subsequent editions of IDY were commemorated in prominent landmarks in major cities in Brazil including Brasilia, Sao Paulo, Porto Alegre, Florianopolis and Curitiba. On 21 June 2019, a mass yoga session was organized in front of the famous National Museum with the iconic Cathedral as a backdrop in Brasilia. A Special Solemn Session was organized in the Plenary hall of the Chambers of Deputies (Lower House of the Parliament) with guest speakers observing the importance of Yoga in the daily lives. The entire IDY 2020 event, spread over 19 and 21 June, was organized on the YouTube channel of the Embassy and was viewed by over 9500 people.

42.       Mahatma Gandhi is highly regarded in Brazil and the Government and NGOs are trying to inculcate the philosophy of non-violence among students, youth and police. Statues of Mahatma Gandhi have been installed in Rio de Janeiro, Sao Paulo and Londrina. An organization called Filhos de Gandhy (Sons of Gandhi) is very popular in Salvador, Brazil and takes out street processions wearing Gandhian attire every year. A commemorative postal stamp was released by Correois, Brazil (Brazilian Postal Department) on 2 October 2018. As part of celebrations of the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi (Bapu@150), various activities were organized in 2019 in cities of Brasilia, Sao Paulo, Rio de Janeiro and Belo Horizonte. A bust of Mahatma Gandhi was installed at the prestigious City Park in Brasilia on 9 January 2020.  In coordination with the Secretary of Culture and Tourism of the city of Salvador, a Gandhi Statue was installed at one of the city Squares of the city, which is an old capital city of Brazil and rich in culture and heritage.

43.       On 25 January 2020, the Government of India conferred Padma Shri to Prof Lia Diskin & Ms. Gloria Arieira, for their contribution in the fields of social work, and literature & education respectively. Globo Television, Brazil’s leading media group produced and aired a news special in 2019 titled “The Journey of Life: Ganges River”. The programme focuses on places that have played an important role on the development of human civilization.

44.       Indian cinema is also popular among the Brazilian people. Brazilian Post issued a commemorative stamp in May 2014 on “100 years of Indian Cinema”. Indian Film weeks organized by the Embassy and Consulate have received a good response.

Indian Community in Brazil

45.       The Indian community in Brazil is estimated to be around 4,000 people, with majority of them living in Sao Paulo, Rio de Janeiro and Manaus. The community comprises primarily of professionals and businessmen, with some scientists/researchers also working in the fields of space, agriculture, physics and biotechnology. There is an Indian Association in Sao Paulo, which organizes events to celebrate national days and community festivals.

Useful Resources:

Embassy of India Website: https://eoibrasilia.gov.in/
Website of Indian Consulate in Sao Paulo :https://www.cgisaopaulo.gov.in/index.php
Social Media pages of Indian Consulate in Sao Paulo:-
Facebook : https://www.facebook.com/IndianConsulateGeneralSaoPauloBrazil/
Twitter Page:https://twitter.com/cgisaopaulo?ref
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/cgisaopaulo/
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCqPEkb4DNMq0BrR-_rtl40A
India Brazil Chamber of Commerce: http://www.indiabrazilchamber.org/
December, 2022