Since the beginning of their relationship, Brazil and Iraq have enjoyed strong bilateral relations. In 1971, Iraq established an Embassy in Brazil, it’s first diplomatic mission in Latin America. Since then the understanding between our two countries has led to increasingly effective and fruitful partnerships in many areas.
During the 1970s and 1980s, Brazil has greatly increased the bilateral trade flow for more than US $ 4.1 billion. This was due largely to Brazilian imports of Iraqi oil, which accounted for over 60 percent of total oil imports from Brazil, and the Brazilian services and technology exports, which were added to the research efforts and development fields oil in Iraq by Petrobras, such as Majnoon, discovered by the Brazilian company at the end of the 1970s.
In response to the rapid growth of commercial interests between Brazil and Iraq, the Iraqi-Brazilian Bank was installed in Rio de Janeiro to assist commercial activities and promote business investment and companies of both countries. The creation of the bank took place in parallel to other developments, such as trade agreements that led to the construction company Mendes Junior paving several roads and a railway line at the time characterized as the largest international contract already closed by Brazil. On that occasion, more than 300 thousand Brazilian workers were taken to Iraq to provide such services, contributing not only to the mutual understanding between these countries, but also strengthening the cultural ties between the two nations.
In addition to providing services, Brazil also exported to Iraq of high value-added products including aircraft produced by the Brazilian company Embraer. These exports led to a number of trade agreements in the sectors of aerospace and other technologies. The exports to Iraq cars Volkswagen Passat manufactured in Brazil – the famous “Brasili” – reached more than 170,000 units, showing that the country could provide reliable and durable products, more competitive prices than those offered by any nation considered as developed.
With the imposition of the embargo by the UN in 1991, bilateral relations between Brazil and Iraq were suspended. The creation of the “Oil for Food” allowed a partial resumption of relations, but only when the embargo ended a real effort was possible to resume the close cooperation and the trade of the previous decades.
Therefore, the Brazilian desire to expand exports to Iraq and efforts to rebuild its infrastructure resulted in the creation of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry Brazil Iraq. Since its founding in 2003, the Chamber has become an essential asset for the expansion of intense and important relationship between the two countries. The participation in fairs and events together to help the Iraqi delegations coming to Brazil and the prospect of Brazilian companies in the Iraqi market, are the actions of the Chamber which enhance the bilateral trade and closer ties between the two.
In 2008, Brazil broke monthly records in the history of bilateral trade with Arab countries, according to MDIC data. Total external trade reached US $ 14 285 billion that year. In 2012 bilateral trade reached a total of US $ 18.921 billion. These figures show how the Arab community is a promising market. The Iraq, for being inserted in this context, constitutes an important destination for exports of Brazilian products and major exporter of oil and oil products to Brazil.
In addition to the commercial element as strong link between the two countries, there is also the diplomatic element. On March 1, 2012, the Brazilian government has reopened its embassy in Baghdad. The embassy then operated in Amman, capital of Jordan, since 2006 due to the armed conflict that could jeopardize Brazilian officials. The official re-opening of the office in Baghdad is a big step towards defitiva maintenance of rapprochement between the two governments, organizing more effectively authorities of meetings of both mixed countries and delegations, as well as foster future partnerships.