Brazil is Australia’s 29th largest trading partner, with total trade making up 0.4% (A$3.4b) of Australia’s trade portfolio in 2017. Exports to Brazil of A$2.5b comprised largely of coal, crude petroleum, aluminium, and education. Imports from Brazil included medicine, coffee, and engineering equipment.
Australian service exports to Brazil were worth A$985m in 2017, with education-related services accounting for the majority, with over 36,000 Brazilian students enrolled in Australian institutions in 2017. Brazil is the 3rd largest source of international students in Australia behind China and India. 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 and 2017, Brazilian students studying in NSW grew 24% each year, fuelling the education industry which is increasingly becoming one of Australia’s largest exporters.
The number of Brazilian tourists visiting Australia has more than doubled over the last decade—with 56,000 arriving in 2017, up 18% from 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 to become the world’s fourth largest economy by 2050, thanks to its favourable demographics and expanding middle class. This will likely create opportunities for Australian firms engaged in transportation, financial and insurance services and waste management sectors. The renewable energy sector also offers opportunities, but much will depend on the new President’s energy policy.