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Bilateral relations between Switzerland and Brazil
Switzerland and Brazil maintain close and varied bilateral relations. They hold regular political exchanges and have strong business ties.
Switzerland and Brazil hold regular ministerial meetings and political consultations. They have also concluded bilateral agreements on trade, aviation and legal assistance.
Brazil is by far Switzerland’s largest trading partner in Latin America. In 2011, Switzerland imported goods – primarily agricultural products, metals and chemicals – worth 921.8 mln CHF. The value of Swiss exports – primarily pharmaceuticals, chemicals and machinery – amounted to some 2.23 bn. CHF At the end of 2010, Swiss direct investments stood at CHF 20.3 bn and some 106,600 people in Brazil were employed by Swiss firms.
Scholars and artists from Brazil can apply to the State Secretariat for Education and Research (SER) for a Swiss Government Excellence Scholarship.
At the beginning of 2012, there were some 14,760 Swiss nationals living in Brazil.
Relations between Switzerland and Brazil date back to the early 19th century, when Swiss businessmen discovered Brazil as a market for their goods. The first Swiss overseas consulate was opened in Rio de Janeiro in 1819. Swiss migrants headed for Brazil from 1817, when the town of Nova Friburgo was founded, until the middle of the 20th century. Switzerland opened its diplomatic mission in Rio de Janeiro in 1907. This was moved to Brasilia, the new capital, in 1972. Besides its Embassy, Switzerland also operates two consulates-general and a "Swiss Business Hub" in Brazil. It also supports the two Swiss schools in São Paulo and Curitiba.