River in the federal state of Amazonia, Brazil

Brazil Land of superlatives

Brazil is the biggest country in South America and, in terms of size and population, it is the fifth largest country on earth. Brazil's gross domestic product (GDP) of 1,908 billion dollars (in 2018) makes it the world's ninth biggest economy. Its per capita income is about 9,126 US dollars.

The country has the greatest wealth of biodiversity anywhere in the world, the biggest remaining rainforest and the river carrying the most water: the Amazon.

In the spheres of international peace and security policy, world trade, and global climate and environmental protection, Brazil is an important player. In Latin America the country is an example for others to follow and an opinion leader. Brazil builds a bridge between the industrialised countries and the Group of 77 (G-77), an association of developing and emerging countries.

Development cooperation

Brazil is one of the global development partners of the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), and is cited in the German government strategy paper Shaping Globalisation – Expanding Partnerships – Sharing Responsibility as one of the new players in globalisation.

Development cooperation with Brazil was given a new basis in recent years, in order to reflect the level of development the country has achieved and its increased global and regional importance.

Germany and Brazil agreed to focus their cooperation on two of the biggest global challenges: climate protection and conservation of biodiversity. The focus of this cooperation is on the protection of tropical forests and the promotion of renewable energies and energy efficiency.

Cleaning worker at the bus station in São Paulo

Crisis leads to political change of direction Internal link

After a "golden decade" of growth (2003 to 2013) accompanied by success in reducing poverty, Brazil is currently going through an economic, political and social crisis.

Children on a playground in the Favela Mangueira in Rio de Janeiro

Big development progress and big challenges Internal link

Since 2003, social policies have led to big progress being made in Brazil, with more than 15 million new jobs being created, minimum wages and pensions rising continuously, and incomes growing.

Cityscape of São Paulo

Dip in growth overcome Internal link

In 2014, after a long period of stable growth, Brazil slipped into an economic crisis. In both 2015 and 2016, gross domestic product (GDP) sank by 3.5 per cent.

Rainforest in Jaraqui, Brazil

Reconciling ecological, social and economic interests Internal link

The vast majority of the Amazon rainforest lies in Brazil. As a water and carbon reservoir, it plays a central role for the global climate and for economic development in South America.

Ipanema beach in Rio de Janeiro

Ipanema beach in Rio de Janeiro

Ipanema beach in Rio de Janeiro

German development cooperation with Brazil

Brazil, as an emerging country that is richly endowed with natural resources and has a large population, has a key role to play in resolving global environmental and development problems. The country is actively involved in the BRICS association of countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) and in the G20, and is seeking admission to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).

Because of its important role in international politics, Brazil is one of the BMZ's six global development partners. A strategic partnership was established between Germany and Brazil in 2015. The core of this partnership consists of joint efforts to promote economically, socially and environmentally sustainable development.

The main thrust of German-Brazilian development cooperation is towards measures concerned with climate protection and preserving biological diversity. Cooperation therefore focuses on the following areas:

  • Conservation and sustainable use of the rainforest
  • Renewable energy and energy efficiency

In view of the country’s own capacity, German support concentrates on reduced-interest loans, in addition to technical advice and financial contributions to Brazilian programmes and funds. To that end, the BMZ made available a total of 332.4 million euros at the end of 2017. Of this, 313 million euros was for Financial Cooperation and 19.4 million euros for Technical Cooperation.

Aerial view of the rainforest in the Anavilhanas National Park in Manaus, Brazil

Stopping deforestation, securing farmers' incomes Internal link

The area covered by tropical forests in Brazil measures 4.8 million square kilometres; this is ten per cent of the total area in the world covered by tropical forests. With 2.5 million different species of animals and plants, Brazil is the most biodiverse country in the world. The BMZ is providing a range of support to assist the Brazilian government in protecting the rainforest and using it in a responsible way.

Football stadium in Salvador da Bahia equipped with solar panels

Generating electricity from the wind and the sun Internal link

Germany is assisting Brazil in decentralising its energy supply and expanding the share of electricity from wind and solar power in its energy mix.

Triangular cooperation: New forms of cooperation

Brazil is an important partner of the BMZ when it comes to promoting development programmes in third countries, i.e. as part of triangular cooperation. Such programmes focus on exchanges of experience between an emerging economy, an industrialised country and a developing country.

For instance, Germany and Brazil are jointly supporting programmes in Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean – in fields such as photovoltaics, energy efficiency, agriculture and managing protected areas.

View from the television tower in the Brazilian capital Brasilia

View from the television tower in the Brazilian capital Brasilia

View from the television tower in the Brazilian capital Brasilia