River in the federal state of Amazonia, Brazil

Brazil An emerging economy going through difficult times

Brazil is the biggest country in South America; in terms of area it is the fifth biggest country on earth and in terms of population the sixth biggest.

Straight to
Cleaning worker at the bus station in São Paulo

Brazil’s gross domestic product of 1,445 billion US dollars (in 2020) makes it one of the world’s largest economies. The country has the greatest wealth of biodiversity anywhere in the world, the biggest remaining area of rainforest and also, with the Amazon, the largest river by discharge volume.

In international peace and security policy, in world trade, and in global climate and environmental protection, Brazil plays an important role. For a long time, the country was a model and an opinion leader for the rest of Latin America, and it continues to have an eminent position. The country is actively (albeit lately less intensively) involved in the BRICS association of countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) and in the G20, and is seeking to join the OECD.

German development cooperation with Brazil

Because of its key role in international politics, Brazil is one of the eight global partners of the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ). The focus of this programme of cooperation is on joint efforts to promote sustainable economic, social and environmental development.

The main thrust of German-Brazilian development cooperation is towards measures concerned with climate action and the conservation of biodiversity. Cooperation therefore focuses on the following priority areas:

  • Conservation and sustainable use of tropical forests
  • Renewable energy and energy efficiency including urban development

In view of the country’s own capacities, in the last ten years, alongside technical advice and financial contributions to Brazilian programmes and funds, German support has mainly consisted of reduced-interest loans. In November 2021, Brazil received a commitment amounting to 283.77 million euros. This commitment consisted of 257.5 million euros for Financial Cooperation and 26.27 million euros for Technical Cooperation.

The German side has been following the latest developments in Brazil with a critical eye. The sharp increase in deforestation, the restrictions on the rights of indigenous people and the curbs on the participation rights of civil society are being noted with concern. The problems are being discussed in a close development policy dialogue.

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

Core area “Conservation and sustainable use of tropical forests” 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

Core area “Renewable energy and energy efficiency” 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 supporting development programmes in third countries; this is known as triangular cooperation. Such programmes focus on the exchange 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 environmental technology, decentralised energy generation and agricultural production.

Current situation

Political situation
Cleaning worker at the bus station in São Paulo
Economic situation
Cityscape of São Paulo
Social situation
Children on a playground in the Favela Mangueira in Rio de Janeiro
Environment and climate
Rainforest in Jaraqui, Brazil