Brazil is Australia’s 30th largest trading partner, with total trade making up 0.4% of Australia’s trade portfolio. Merchandise trade (exports + imports) with Brazil was worth A$1.9b in 2016. Exports to Brazil comprised of coal, aluminium, and fertilisers. Imports from Brazil included medicine, coffee, and engineering equipment.
Australian service exports to Brazil were worth A$755m in 2016, with education-related services accounting for the majority, with close to 30,000 Brazilian students enrolled in Australian institutions in 2016. Brazil is the largest source of international students in Australia outside of Asia. Australia’s top eight universities (Group of 8) have signed agreements with two Brazilian government agencies promoting Brazilian enrolments in Australian universities.
Since 2004 there has been an exponential increase in Brazilian students studying in Australia. In 2016-2017 alone, Brazilian students studying in NSW grew 24.5 %, fuelling the education industry which is ever increasingly becoming one of Australia’s largest exports. This recent influx of Brazilian students is caused by high unemployment and a lack of professional jobs available in Brazil.
The number of Brazilian tourists visiting Australia has risen strongly over the last decade—with 47,000 arriving in 2016.
Brazil’s growing infrastructure needs and sizeable mining and agricultural industries present opportunities for Australian firms. There are over 100 Australian companies in Brazil, including Agrichem, BHP Billiton, Macquarie, Pacific Hydro, Rio Tinto and Orica. A report from Pricewaterhouse Coopers projects Brazil will become the world’s fourth largest economy by 2050 thanks to its favourable demographics and expanding middle class.