Bilateral Trade Report
Brazil and Switzerland have a harmonious and long-term business relationship. Brazil is the main economic partner in Latin America, responsible for 34.4% of Swiss business in the region. In 2020, Brazil occupied the 24th position in the ranking of Switzerland’s most important trading partners. On the other hand, among Brazil’s main trading partners, Switzerland ranks 34th in the ranking of exports and 19th in the ranking of imports. Bilateral trade between the two countries in 2020 had a 12.5% decrease compared to the previous year, mainly due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to the Comex Stat portal of the Ministry of Economy, in 2020 Brazil exported US$ 209 billion and imported US$ 158 billion, resulting in a surplus of US$ 51 billion in the trade balance. Switzerland exported CHF 225 billion and imported CHF 182 billion, with a surplus of CHF 43 billion, according to the Swiss Federal Customs Administration.
As for the commercial exchange between the two countries, it was registered by the SISCOMEX system (Integrated Foreign Trade System) that Brazil exported US$ 1.4 billion to Switzerland and imported US$ 2 billion in 2020. These values show a negative variation of 26% in imports and 9.2% in exports, compared to 2019, as a result of the sanitary crisis of COVID-19 as mentioned above.
The main products that Brazil sold to Switzerland in 2020 were gold, aircraft and other equipment, iron ores, chicken meat, aviation kerosene, heart valves, food preparations, works of art, rice, coffee, medicines, oil. palm oil, orthopedic articles and appliances, soy, among others.
Switzerland has exported to Brazil especially medicines and pharmaceuticals, compounds with nitrogen functions, organo-inorganic and heterocyclic compounds, steam generator boilers, electric generators, roasted coffee, measuring instruments, hearing aids, packaging machines, watches, prefabricated buildings, machine tools, printing inks etc.
In addition to the economic field, the two nations maintain an excellent diplomatic relationship in the cultural and political sector and hold regular ministerial meetings and political consultations.
According to the Swiss Embassy in Brazil, currently, almost 13,857 Swiss live in Brazil, while the Brazilian community in Switzerland is 21,596 people (data from October 2020 – source: Swiss Federal Bureau of Statistics).
Diplomatic relations between Brazil and Switzerland
Diplomatic relations between Brazil and Switzerland began even when Brazil was part of the Portuguese Empire. In 1818, D. João VI authorized one hundred Swiss families to settle as immigrants at Fazenda do Morro Queimado, in Rio de Janeiro. This nucleus of colonization would grow to the point of breaking up from the areas of Cantagalo and being raised to the category of Nova Friburgo village, in the year 1820. Nova Friburgo becomes a city in the year 1890. In 2017, Nova Friburgo receives the title of “Brazilian Switzerland” by the Government of Rio de Janeiro. In the current region of Joinville (Santa Catarina), the first Swiss immigrants arrived in 1851 and in the current municipality of Rio Novo do Sul (Espírito Santo) in 1856. In São Paulo, Swiss immigrants settled in the region of Jundiaí, Limeira, Rio Claro and Piracicaba in 1854, until the Helvetia Colony was founded in Indaiatuba in 1888, with activities to this day.
Brazil’s first diplomatic mission to Switzerland was established in 1855, when José Francisco Guimarães became the first diplomatic representative as Consul in Bern. The first Swiss representative on Brazilian soil was Albert Gertsch, in charge of business, in 1907. Another prominent Swiss diplomat was Charles Redard, sent to Rio de Janeiro in 1912, where he served for 26 years, and returned to Brazil shortly afterwards to end his diplomatic career as a plenipotentiary minister in Rio de Janeiro in 1949. The Swiss legation in Rio de Janeiro became an Embassy in 1958, while the Brazilian legation in Berne became an Embassy the following year.
Companies also played an important role in increasing relations between Switzerland and Brazil. In the 1930s, the Association of Swiss Business Houses brought together executives from Swiss companies in Rio de Janeiro to discuss issues related to business between the two countries and also prepare and send Switzerland monthly reports on the Brazilian political and economic situation. From 1945, the group was made official and became the Swiss Chamber of Commerce of Brazil.
In the 1950s, with the presence of President Juscelino Kubitschek, “Casa da Suíça” was inaugurated in Rio de Janeiro, an eleven-story building that centralized the activities of the Swiss residents in Brazil at that time. The Swiss chamber and Swiss companies operating in Brazil also housed their offices there. In the 1970s, the Swiss Embassy moved to Brasilia, but the Swiss Consulate remains at the same address to this day, among other Swiss entities.
More information and photos of the 75-year history of SWISSCAM and the Swiss community in Brazil can be seen at www.swisscam.com.br/swisscam-75-anos.
In the last two decades, Brazil and Switzerland have brought relations closer together, seeking a greater development in trade between countries. In 2007, a Memorandum of Understanding was signed by Chancellor Celso Amorim and Federal Councilor Doris Leuthard who created the Joint Commission for Economic and Commercial Relations with the aim of becoming a “focus of coordination and convergence between the two Governments and, above all, between the representatives of the private sector”, in the words of the then Ambassador of Brazil to Switzerland, Eduardo dos Santos.
The first meeting of the Joint Commission for Commercial and Economic Relations took place in Berne on October 30, 2007, led by Ambassador Monika Rühl Burzi, Head of the Bilateral Economic Relations sector at the Federal Secretariat of Economy (SECO) of Switzerland and by Ambassador Edileuza Fontenele Reis, Director of the Secretariat for European Relations of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Brazil. The meeting was also attended by several representatives of the business sector. Since then, the commission has met almost every year, sometimes in Switzerland and sometimes in Brazil, with the last meeting in 2018.
In 2008, Federal Counselor Micheline Calmy-Rey was in Brazil and signed a memorandum of understanding for the establishment of a strategic cooperation plan on topics of common interest in the political, economic, scientific and technological agendas.
In 2009, the Treaty on Legal Cooperation in Criminal Matters, signed in 2004 by Minister of Justice Márcio Thomaz Bastos and Federal Counselor Christoph Blocher, entered into force. Also in 2009, the Bilateral Agreement for Scientific and Technological Cooperation was signed by Federal Counselor Pascal Couchepin and by the Minister of Science and Technology of Brazil Sergio Machado Rezende.
In 2011, the Bilateral Agreement for the Exchange of Trainees was signed by Federal Counselor Johann Schneider-Ammann and by Foreign Minister Antônio Patriota.
In 2013, deputies and senators from the Brazil-Switzerland Parliamentary Group, in cooperation with SWISSCAM, made a trip to Switzerland with an extensive agenda of visits to Swiss companies, associations and public institutions, highlighting the visit to the Nestlé Research Center in Lausanne and to Parliament in Bern. The group, then led by Senator Paulo Bauer, was created in 2003 with the aim of bringing Parliaments closer to the two countries. That same year, the Agreement on Regular Air Services was signed, which was ratified in 2021. The objective is to establish a legal framework for the operation of air services between the two countries and is based on the so-called “open skies policy”, in which two nations relax the rules for commercial flights between them.
In 2014, the “Social Security Agreement” was signed by Federal Counselor Johann Schneider-Ammann and by the Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Luiz Alberto Figueiredo Machado, which only came into force in 2019. In that same year, the Federal Revenue of Brazil finally recognized that Switzerland should not be considered a country with a privileged tax situation (tax haven), after four years of diplomatic negotiations. In this sense, the efforts resulted in the signing of the “Agreement for the exchange of information on tax matters” in November 2015 by the Secretary of Federal Revenue of Brazil Jorge Antonio Rachid and by the Head of the Swiss Federal Department of Finance Christoph Schelling, in force since 2019. And the following year, Brazil and Switzerland signed a joint declaration on the application of mutual automatic exchange of information in tax matters (AIA – Automatischer Informationsaustausch), a global standard developed within the scope of the OECD. Exchange between Brazil and Switzerland began in 2019.
The Treaty between Brazil and Switzerland on the Transfer of Sentenced Persons was signed in 2015, but is still pending before the National Congress for due ratification.
In 2016, in the context of the Rio de Janeiro Olympic and Paralympic Games, Brazil was visited by several Swiss authorities such as Federal Counselors Alain Berset, Guy Parmelin and Johann Schneider-Ammann, who was also the president of the Swiss Confederation that year and participated in a Roundtable with Swiss companies, organized by the Swiss Business Hub in partnership with SWISSCAM, at the House of Switzerland (Lower Switzerland), one of the few nations’ houses open to the public during the Games in Rio de Janeiro and was the stage for celebrations of medals, receptions and events with partners.
In order to demonstrate the consolidated and advanced field of innovation in Switzerland and further strengthen relations, SWISSCAM promoted in 2017 the Innovation Trip Mission: a trip with Brazilian parliamentarians to meet Swiss institutions in the area of innovation and companies with huge investments in research and development.
In 2018, an important agreement was signed, the “Convention to Eliminate Double Taxation in Relation to Income Taxes and Prevent Tax Evasion and Avoidance”. The former Swiss Ambassador to Brazil, Andrea Semadeni, emphasized that the “lack of a double taxation agreement between the two countries was one of the biggest complaints from Swiss companies”. The agreement was approved by the Swiss parliament in 2019. In Brazil, it was ratified in 2021 and will enter into force in January 2022, according to information from the Swiss Embassy.
The World Water Forum took place for the first time in the Southern Hemisphere in its eighth edition, in March 2018, in Brasilia, where SWISSCAM was designated by the Federal Department of International Relations of the Swiss Government in partnership with the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation to organize the Swiss stand.
Also in 2018, the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (Finma) and its Brazilian counterpart, the Brazilian Securities Commission (CVM) signed a memorandum of understanding for cooperation in the fintech area. “The agreement represents an advance in our cooperation in the area, by providing an adequate structure for innovative fintech companies to establish discussions and understand regulatory requirements. Furthermore, the agreement helps to reduce regulatory uncertainty and the deadline for commercialization”, said the Swiss Secretary of State, Jörg Gasser, at an event held in São Paulo.
In August 2019, the member countries of Efta (European Free Trade Association) and Mercosur signed a free trade agreement in Buenos Aires, which still awaits the approval of the parliaments of the respective countries to enter into force. The expectation, according to the Ministry of Economy, is that the agreement will raise Brazil’s GDP by US $ 5.2 billion in 15 years. It is currently paralyzed due to controversies on the environmental issue, which will certainly lead to a referendum in Switzerland, according to the Swiss Ambassador to Brazil Andrea Semadeni.
In October 2019, Anvisa and Swissmedic signed an agreement for a pilot project to inspect good manufacturing practices for medicines and pharmaceutical ingredients. In addition, Anvisa is expected to enter the Pharmaceutical Inspection Cooperation Scheme in 2020, of which Swissmedic has been part since 1996, which will allow for the mutual recognition of inspections between the two countries.
In November 2019, a Swiss delegation headed by Ambassador Mauro Moruzzi was in Brasília to reinforce the collaboration in the areas of research and innovation. The meeting celebrated the 10th anniversary of the Scientific and Technological Cooperation Agreement signed in 2009 with Brazil, with the presence of Minister Marcos Pontes. On the occasion, a memorandum of understanding was signed by the Swiss National Science Foundation and CONFAP and also a memorandum by Innosuisse – Swiss Innovation Agency, the Swiss agency for the promotion of innovation and EMBRAPII – Brazilian Company for Industrial Research and Innovation, which will offer support to projects between companies in Brazil and Switzerland.
In September 2020, representatives of Switzerland and Brazil held a videoconference where they discussed the bilateral economic relationship, the Covid-19 crisis, and the measures taken by the two countries to alleviate the negative effects on the economy caused by the pandemic.
In April 2021, a new meeting of the Brazil-Swiss Joint Economic Commission took place with the participation of representatives from various branches of Swiss industries, such as the pharmaceutical and watch industries, to discuss, among other topics, the demands and problems that Swiss companies face in Brazil.
UBS and Banco do Brasil signed a non-binding Memorandum of Understanding to launch a leading investment bank in South America, providing services in Brazil, Argentina, Chile, Paraguay, Peru and Uruguay, with UBS being the majority shareholder ( 50.01%) of the partnership, which was formalized in September 2020.
In 2020 Bobst opened its new facility in Itatiba-SP, which occupies an area of 6,000m², including a competence center and training area.
In September 2020, Straumann, leader in the segment of dental implants, opened the third factory in Curitiba. The investment of 13 million Swiss francs in the new plant will enable a significant increase in the production of Neodent dental implants for export, according to the 2021 report of the Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO).
Nestlé, through Nestlé Health Science, the company’s health and nutritional science subdivision, chose Brazil to launch its first program to accelerate startups in the area of eHealth. In January 2020, after screening more than 130 submitted projects, startups Mempis and Insight Technologies were selected to receive up to 1 million reais and mentoring to accelerate their projects.
The Brazilian Company for Industrial Research and Innovation (EMBRAPII) and the Swiss Innovation Agency (Innosuisse) published a call in February 2020 for the selection of proposals for joint innovation projects between Brazilian and Swiss companies. The objective is to encourage engagement in scientific cooperation and innovation projects between innovative companies and Science and Technology Institutions (ICTs) from Switzerland and Brazil.
The ABB Power Grids Group signed a $100 million five-year contract with South America’s largest utility company, Interconexion Electrica S.A. E.S.P. (ISA), that currently operates over 62,000 kilometers of power transmission infrastructure, with over 7,000 kilometers under construction. ISA is also active in the transport, information and telecommunications services sectors.
In June 2020, Syngenta announced the creation of the Syngenta Group, a group that encompasses Syngenta AG, ADAMA and the agricultural unit of Sinochem. The entity is a global leader in the crop protection market, present in over 100 countries and headquartered in Switzerland.
In December 2020, GF Piping Systems, a division of Georg Fischer, announced the acquisition of FGS Brasil Indústria e Comércio Ltda. A leading manufacturer of polyethylene piping systems, FGS supplies the local water and gas distribution market as well as other industrial segments. With this acquisition, GF Piping Systems will have a dedicated platform to continue its growth in Brazil and South America.
In March 2021, the Swiss multinational in the chemical area Sika acquired the company BR Massa, from Minas Gerais, with the intention of expanding the range of products offered in the region and improving the customer service area.
Scheduled to open in November 2021, Aryzta’s new factory in Pouso Alegre (MG) will have a production capacity of up to 75 thousand loaves per hour and an estimated 300 direct jobs and more than a thousand indirect jobs. The works started in April 2020 and the approximate investment is BRL 400 million.
In addition to investments of more than BRL 900 million for automation, modernization and expansion of Nestlé factories in Brazil in 2021, the company announced an investment of BRL 1 billion for a new Purina plant in Santa Catarina, to be opened in 2023 in the first phase.
Social Actions in the pandemic
The Swiss Consulate General in São Paulo donated 232 food baskets to the São Paulo city government program to help families affected by the pandemic, which brought not only the disease’s health hazards, but also food insecurity.
The Swiss Consulate General in Rio de Janeiro donated food baskets and personal hygiene kits in coordination with some NGOs based in the cities of Rio de Janeiro and Nova Friburgo. The aim was to help families and people who most need support during this difficult period.
Syngenta committed to help fight COVID-19, between April and June 2020, with the delivery of 105,000 personal protective equipment, more than 47,000 units of alcohol and laser thermometers, aimed at various public health institutions from 21 Brazilian municipalities, and donated the PCR test analysis equipment along with 200 plates for real-time PCR analysis to the Central Laboratory of Belo Horizonte.
The company also made direct donations to rural producers, donating more than 20,000 bags of corn seeds to eight rural unions in the interior of Bahia, in addition to 103,000 seeds for the cultivation of zucchini, cauliflower, tomatoes, cabbage, peppers and cucumber to Hidroceres, who will sow them and direct them to the Seedling Nursery Tamandaré.
In May, another campaign was created by Syngenta under the name “Dá Match!”, with the aim of cooperating with its employees with contributions aimed at the communities where it operates. For each donation of any kind made by its professionals to institutions of free choice, Syngenta makes a contribution of the same value to the chosen institution.
Nestlé has teamed up with the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent to ship vaccines to poor countries totaling 6 million Swiss francs to accelerate distribution across the globe. Another action was carried out in conjunction with Sesc and other companies that resulted in a donation of more than 1.6 million to Fiocruz’s Unidos Contra a Covid-19 program, referring to an oxygen production plant, which will support public hospitals in the State of Amazonas, in addition to the donation of food that benefited more than 3,000 families in the region.
In yet another announcement by the company, 28 tons of food supplements were donated to the elderly in nursing homes in the State of São Paulo, an amount that is expected to supply about 21 thousand elderly people with daily doses for 2 months. In market values, the donation cost around 4.6 million reais.
Right at the beginning of the pandemic, Nestlé had already donated around 500 tons of food and beverages, in addition to pet food, throughout Brazil. And as a result, a major campaign was carried out with the NGO Gerando Falcões, which operates in favelas in Brazil, to guarantee food baskets for 30,000 families in Brazil. For every 1 real donated by one of its employees, Nestlé would give another 1 real. The campaign has already collected 70 tons of food for the entity.
Zurich Seguros mobilized to help fight the pandemic and allocated 1.5 million reais to a project to expand 90 ICU beds to public hospitals in the city of São Paulo, such as the Hospitals Vila Santa Catarina and M’Boi Mirim.
With the Jundiaí city hall as a partner, the Swiss company Sigvaris donated 700 packages of tissue masks to be distributed at the oncology unit of the São Vicente de Paulo Charity Hospital.
Novartis, a Swiss pharmaceutical group, provided 5.5 million reais in drug doses to the State of Paraná, to the city of São Paulo and to the federal government during the health crisis generated by COVID-19. The group also allocated 5 million to 45 institutions for the purchase of food baskets and hygiene kits, in addition to 100,000 masks and 50,000 gloves for health professionals.
In May 2021, students in the 3rd year of high school at the Escola Suíço-Brasileira de São Paulo joined the NGO Gerando Falcões to collect as many basic food baskets as possible to help vulnerable families in favelas across Brazil. In addition, students prepared 80 breakfast kits for the “Take care of those who care” project, by gastronomic journalist Mariana Galante, who distributed meals to health professionals at the INCOR hospital.
Another initiative of the school was with Associação Casa dos Curumins, whose campaign “Curumins do Bem” aimed to fight hunger in the periphery population, by donating basic food baskets.
SWISSCAM in the Pandemic
SWISSCAM held several events throughout 2020 and 2021 in order to keep members up to date and support them during the pandemic period. Among them, we highlight:
“COVID-19 and the impacts on the economy”, held on April 22, 2020, with the presence of the team of economists from Pezco. The debate recording is available in the member’s area of our website.
“What will air travel be like after the coronavirus pandemic?”, held on April 23, 2020, with Annette Taeuber, General Director for Brazil at Lufthansa.
“SWISSCAM Panel: How are the main Swiss companies preparing for the economic recovery?”, held on October 15, 2020, with 8 leaders of the main Swiss companies present in Brazil, in addition to the Swiss Ambassador to Brazil Andrea Semadeni and the Helcio Takeda, economist at Pezco.
With opening by the President of SWISSCAM Henrique Philip Schneider, the panel began with a brief overview made by the Ambassador regarding the situation in Switzerland, when a retraction of 3.8% of GDP was estimated, a positive number given the previous expectation was 6.2% drop. However, he was concerned about the second wave in Europe. He thanked the companies that played a key social role in the fight against COVID-19.
Helcio Takeda brought data on the various sectors affected by the pandemic and estimated a 4.2% drop in GDP for 2020, but a strong recovery in 2021, with an expected increase of more than 3% of GDP.
Panelists offered their view on the impacts in their respective sectors. Executives from MSC Mediterranean Shipping Company, Atlas Schindler, Nestlé Brasil, Clariant, Novartis Brasil, Zurich Seguros, Lufthansa Group and Syngenta were present.
Swiss Technologies for the pandemic
Roche, a Swiss pharmaceutical company, and Atea, an American pharmaceutical company, have teamed up to develop and distribute a direct-acting oral antiviral called AT-527, which works by blocking the RNA polymerase enzyme needed for viral replication. The drug is already in phase 3 of testing that began in Q1 of 2021.
Roche also teamed up with another American pharmaceutical company, Regeneron, and created a cocktail of antibodies against COVID-19, which according to Roche eliminates 70% hospitalization and death from the virus. It was approved by ANVISA for emergency use in April 2021.
Switzerland signed an agreement with the World Health Organization in May 2021 to host the BioHub project at the Spiez Biochemical Laboratory, which aims to store, analyze and share information about viruses with the potential to cause pandemics between laboratories around the world.
Novartis and Molecular Partners initiated in May 2021 the EMPATHY clinical trial, a Phase 2 and 3 study, to explore the use of its new potential antiviral DARPin® (MP0420) for the treatment of COVID-19. Novartis will conduct the clinical trial program for ensovibep, with Molecular Partners as the study sponsor. In March 2021, Molecular Partners reported initial positive Phase 1 results in healthy volunteers.
With the need for more effective and regular cleaning, Atlas Schindler (manufacturer of elevators and escalators) has developed automatic cleaning and sanitizing solutions with ultraviolet light for cleaning handrails in escalators and air fresheners for elevators.
Despite the economic and political crisis of recent years, Brazil continues to attract investors from Switzerland and other countries, since the country has been showing significant improvements. The July 2019 Report on Investment Prospects of the National Bank for Social Development (BNDES) projects that investments for the 2019-2022 quadrennium will reach R$ 1.1 trillion. Compared to the survey conducted in July of last year for the period 2018-2021, there was a real increase of 2.7% of total investments.
The projections are of growth in the industry. In infrastructure, the comparison between the value in 2018 and the average from 2019 to 2022 shows a slight decrease scenario. What explains the scenario of a strong expansion of investments is the high performance of oil and gas, driven by the recovery in oil prices and the exploration block concession or sharing auctions held in 2017 and early 2018.
In infrastructure, the scenario is for retraction in investments in electricity until 2021, with resumption from 2022. In contrast, the perspective is of significant increase in investments in logistics and sanitation. Performances in these two sectors show a recovery in investment in the most deprived areas, especially from 2020.
There are growing prospects for the railways to be inserted in the exportation of bulk agricultural exports (North-South Railroad and increase of capacity of the North Mesh towards the Port of Santos), but challenges still persist in general cargo rail transport, the main Brazilian demand. In sanitation, it is noteworthy that more than half of the sewage generated in the country (54%) is not treated (2017 data).
Switzerland stands out in the sectors of information and communication technology (ICT), life sciences and machinery, electrical and metallurgy industries. There are countless technology parks and business incubators, most of which are gathered in associations. With different formats and alignments, they were developed through close links with higher education institutions and, in part, from private initiative.
In 2020, Switzerland occupied sixth place in the World Digital Competitiveness ranking produced by the IMD (International Institute for Management Development), based in Lausanne. The ranking measures the capacity and readiness of 63 countries to adapt and exploit digital technologies, a key factor in the economic transformation experienced by business, government and society more broadly.
Currently, Switzerland has been standing out strongly in the fintech area. A study by the Institute of Financial Services Zug IFZ, Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts, shows Zurich and Geneva in second and fourth positions, among the cities with the best conditions for business development in the area of fintech in 2020. As excellent conditions combined with the grouping of innovative entrepreneurs, proactive authorities and leading scientific research institutes, allowed the development of the “Crypto Valley” in the canton of Zug. According to the Swiss Venture Capital Report, funding for Swiss startups passed the CHF 2 billion mark again in 2020. Although the ICT area, including fintechs, remains at the top of the investment rounds, there was a drop in 2020 due to the crisis of COVID, while biotechs had an expressive growth of 31.3% compared to 2019.
Switzerland and the Swiss government also show great interest in technologies for the generation and use of clean and renewable energy, favoring Brazil in the field of biofuels and ethanol. In this area, the opportunities lie both in the direct sale of alternative fuels as well as in the transfer of technology and productive partnerships between companies in both countries.
According to the Direct Investment Report 2020 of the Central Bank of Brazil, Europe remains as the region with the largest stock of Direct Investment in Brazil in 2019, and Switzerland occupies the 5th place among the main European investors.
Direct Investment position by investor countries – Europe
Source: Central Bank of Brazil
With regard to the reinvestment of profits and remittances of dividends abroad, Switzerland also occupies a prominent position:
Reinvested and distributed profits (dividends) – Immediate investor
Source: Central Bank of Brazil
In its report on economic relations between Switzerland and Latin America (2021), the Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO) highlights the COVID-19 crisis which, although it has considerably affected Swiss imports and exports in these countries , did not withdraw the interest of Swiss companies in the region, according to the investment announcements already mentioned in the “Commercial Highlights” section.
Brazil is the country that most attracts direct investment from Switzerland in Latin America. In 2019, Switzerland’s direct investment stock totaled CHF 10.6 billion (34.1% of the total amount in Latin America).
Switzerland – Latin America: Foreign Direct Investment by Main Partners 1993 – 2019 (% of total Swiss FDI stock in Latin America)
Source: Switzerland – Latin America Economic Relations Report 2021 – State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO)
In this same direction, the SECO report also shows that Brazil has the largest number of people working in Swiss companies in Latin America. There were 60,926 in 2019, followed by Mexico with 40,204 employees.
Swiss companies in Brazil
About 350 Swiss companies maintain operations in Brazil. Major companies such as ABB, Adecco, Aryzta, Autoneum, Blaser, Barry Callebaut, Bobst, Bühler, Clariant, Credit Suisse, Curaprox, Elevadores Atlas Schindler, Dufry, Ferring, Firmenich, Gate Gourmet, Georg Fischer, Givaudan, Hilti, Huber + Suhner, Liebherr, Lindt, Lonza, MSC, Nestlé, Novartis, Panalpina, Pfiffner, Precious Woods, Richemont, Roche, R&M, Rolex, Sefar, SGS, Sig Combibloc, Sigvaris, Sika, Sonova, Stäubli, Sulzer, Swiss International Air Lines, Swiss Re, Swissport, Syngenta, UBS, Victorinox, Zurich, Zürcher Kantonalbank and many others have a significant presence in the Brazilian market. Brazil is also a strategic place for companies that aim to export to other countries in Latin America. Some of them have been in Brazil for more than 100 years.
Brazilian companies in Switzerland
Some of the main Brazilian companies investing in Switzerland are: CBMM, Vale, Vicunha, Banco Safra, Weg (through the distributor Bibus AG), Itaú Private Bank, Biomecânica, Stefanini, Suzano, EFW Capital Advisors, Welle Laser. Brazil is also present through small and micro-enterprises founded by Brazilian citizens. They are law firms, travel agencies, restaurants, shops and beauty salons.
Area (km2): 41,285
Population: 8.6 million (2019 – Federal Statistical Office)
Official languages: German, French, Italian and Romansh
Currency: Swiss Franc – CHF
GDP: CHF 726,921 billion (2019 – Federal Statistical Office)
GDP per capita: CHF 84,769 (2019 – Federal Statistical Office)
Total exports: CHF 225 billion (2020 – Federal Customs Administration)
Total Imports: CHF 182 billion (2020 – Federal Customs Administration)
Embassy of Switzerland in Brazil:
SES Av. das Nações Q. 811, lote 41
70448-900 Brasília – DF
Tel.: +55 61 3443 5500
Ambassador: Pietro Lazzeri
E-mail: [email protected]
Area (km2): 8.514.877
Population: 211.7 million (2020 – IBGE)
Official language: Portuguese
Currency: Real – BRL – R $
GDP: BRL 7.4 trillion (2020 – IBGE)
GDP per capita: BRL 35,172 (2020 – IBGE)
Total exports: USD 209 billion (2020 – Comex Stat)
Total Imports: USD 158 billion (2020 – Comex Stat)
Embassy of Brazil in Switzerland
CH – 3007 Bern
Tel.: +41 31 371 8515
Ambassador: Cláudia Fonseca Buzzi
E-mail: [email protected]
Export Promotion Agency – APEX Brasil
SBN Quadra 2 – Lote 11, Edifício Apex-Brasil
70040-020 Brasília – DF – Tel.: +55 61 3426 0202
Brasil Export – Guia de Comércio Exterior e Investimento
Consulate General of Brazil in Geneva
45, rue de Lausanne – 1er étage
CH – 1201 Genève
Tel.: +41 22 906 9420
E-mail: [email protected]
Susan Kleebank – General Consul
General Consulate of Brazil in Zurich
CH – 8006 Zürich
Tel.: +41 44 206 9020
E-mail: [email protected]
Eduardo Botelho Barbosa – Cônsul-Geral
Consulate General of Switzerland in Sao Paulo
Avenida Paulista, 1754 – 4° andar
01310-200 São Paulo – SP
Tel.: +55 11 3372 8200
E-mail: [email protected]
Pierre Hagmann – General Consul
Consulado Geral da Suíça no Rio de Janeiro
Rua Cândido Mendes, 157 – 11° andar
20241-220 Rio de Janeiro – RJ
Tel.: +55 21 3806 2100
E-mail: [email protected]
Bernhard Furger – Cônsul-Geral
Latin American Chamber of Commerce in Switzerland – Latcam
CH – 8004 Zürich
Tel.: +41 44 240 3300
E-mail: [email protected]
Switzerland Global Enterprise
Tel.: +41 44 365 5151