India-Brazil relations

India-Brazil relations

Historical Relations

  • The relations between Brazil and India as sovereign countries began in 1948.
  • Indian philosophy and politics of leading Indian figures, Rabindranath Tagore and Mahatma Gandhi influenced Brazil.
  • After World War II, both emerged as giant nation-states, territory and population-wise.
  • Goa and Brazil share a Portuguese connection.

Political Relations

  • The first official visit of Brazil's head of state was in 1996 when President Fernando Henrique Cardoso met with Indian leaders.
  • Both countries have campaigned to democratize the Security Council of the United Nations and persuade world leaders of their legitimate claims to permanent seats prompted Brazil and India leading to the establishment of G4 in 2004 along with Germany and Japan.
  • Brazil also supports India’s membership to the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG).
  • We share platforms of BRICS, BASIC, G-20, G-4, IBSA, International Solar Alliance, Biofuture Platform.
  • We are also common members of  UN, WTO, UNESCO and WIPO.
  • The VIII BRICS Summit was hosted by India in 2016 in Goa.
  • A bilateral Joint Commission Meeting (JCM) exists between India and Brazil that is co-chaired by the Foreign Ministers of the two countries.


  • Bilateral trade stands at $8 billion.
  • Brazil is one of the most important trading partners of India in the entire LAC (Latin America and the Caribbean) region.
  • India stands as one of the major exporters of diesel oil to Brazil and of organic chemicals and pharmaceutical products, man-made filaments, nuclear reactors, boilers, machinery and mechanical appliances, textile products (synthetic filaments/fibres, cotton, apparels, accessories etc.).
  • Main items of Brazilian exports to India are Petroleum products, mainly crude oil, cane sugar, copper ore, soya oil and gold.
  • Both favour an expansion of India-MERCOSUR Preferential Trade Agreement (trading bloc in Latin America comprising Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay and Paraguay).


  • Brazilian companies have invested in automobiles, IT, mining, energy, biofuels, footwear sectors in India.
  • Indian companies have invested in sectors such as IT, pharmaceutical, energy, agri-business, mining, engineering and automobiles.


  • Brazil and India have signed a bilateral ‘Defence Cooperation Agreement’ in 2003.
  • Under the agreement, a ‘Joint Defence Committee (JDC)’ has been set-up that meets at regular interval.
  • Maritime exercise IBSAMAR (India-Brazil-South Africa Maritime) has contributed to enhancing maritime security.
  • A high-level delegation from Brazil and it’s defence industry to participate in the DEFEXPO, scheduled from 5-8 February 2020 in Lucknow, India.

Social and Cultural Relations

  • Creation of the first department of Sanskrit in Latin America at the University of São Paulo in 1968.
  • In Brazil, there is enormous interest in India’s culture, religion, performing arts and philosophy.
  • Folkloric identities and celebrations from India relate to the jolly and colourful nature of the festivities such as the typical dances and parades of north and northeast of Brazil.
  • The first classical Indian art form to come to Brazil was Bharatanatyam; Odissi, Kathak and Kuchipudi followed.
  • Brazil has a strong community of Yoga and Ayurveda practitioners like the Brazilian Association of Ayurveda (ABRA).
  • Regular shows of Indian cinema organized by the Embassy have been received well in Brazil.
  • 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. There are also many statues of Mahatma Gandhi installed in Rio de Janeiro, Sao Paulo and Londrina. An organization called Filhos de Gandhi (Sons of Gandhi) is very popular in Salvador that takes out street processions wearing Gandhian attire every year.

Diaspora: The Indian community of PIOs/NRIs in Brazil is small, numbering

around 4700 people (as of December 2018).

Similarities between Brazil and India

  • Both have similar processes of postcolonial nation-building, a multicultural society, and a predominantly tropical geography with vast natural resources.
  • Both adopted federal systems to accommodate their democratic ideals.
  • Economic liberalization in India and Brazil started at the same time in 1991.
  • The press in both countries is robust and free.
  • Rich in human resources, both economies are driven by expanding middle classes.


  • Brazil has refused to take back its case against India at WTO regarding Indian subsidies for sugar.
  • On the environmental front, while India aggressively works towards fighting climate change (such as through the International Social Alliance), Brazil President refuses to recognise the reality of climate change.
  • China is the biggest trading partner of Brazil it is difficult for India to compete.

Current scenario

  • Our bilateral strategic partnership 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. Keeping this in mind, both leaders formulated an Action Plan.


This is the third time that at Brazillian President has been the Chief Guest for the Republic Day of India, which shows the deepening of ties between India and Latin America. The South-South cooperation and opposition to the Western-dominated world order bring both countries closer. Complementary growing seasons and sizeable internal markets make agribusiness a good opportunity. Also, in terms of energy requirements, India can diversify by importing Ethanol from Brazil, reducing dependency on conventional energy sources. In electric vehicles, Tata Marcopolo (Marcopolo is Brazil-based) is already a promising collaboration. In October 2019, Brazillian President also announced his willingness to make travel visa-free for Indians coming to Brazil/ These are one many many positive steps to come for a multi-polar world with developing countries shaping the future.

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Source: Livemint