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David Plaisant 2020-1-14

A guide to financial and foreign relations between Italy and Brazil

This article was created in partnership with Western Union.

Despite there being more than 9,000 kilometers between the two countries, Italy and Brazil enjoy strong foreign relations. Their close bonds have stemmed from centuries of migration and cultural exchange. Starting in the 19th century, Brazil attracted millions of European migrants who travelled out of the continent to start a new life. And after many decades of receiving Italians, Brazil is now home to millions of citizens who claim Italian ancestry.

More recently, migration patterns have reversed, with Brazilians — many with Italian citizenship — deciding to settle in their ancestral land of Italy. Because people and businesses move regularly between Brazil and Italy today, easy and reliable money flow between these two countries is as important as ever. Here’s a look at the financial relationship between these two nations and how today’s migrants can financially benefit from their close connection.

A history of migration

The close ties in foreign relations between Italy and Brazil started around 1870, when Brazil began promoting migration to Italians by offering them free ocean travel, according to SciELO. Brazil needed workers in rural areas, especially in the coffee plantations of Southern states such as São Paulo and Santa Catarina.

According to the Instituto Brasileiro de Geografia e Estatistica, initial migrants travelled from Northern Italian regions, such as Veneto, but many also came from areas such as Lombardy, Calabria and Campania. From 1870 to 1930, between 2 and 3 million Europeans migrated to Brazil, and a large portion of these travellers were Italian, the Migration Policy Institute reported.

Migration from Italy began to slow as conditions improved in the country during the course of the 20th century. With so many Brazilians able to claim Italian citizenship, Italy has become a natural destination for people from Brazil to travel and often settle. Today, there are over 50,000 Brazilian migrants residing in Italy, according to Tuttitalia, and a recent study found that in 2017, Brazilians were the third-largest group to obtain passports in Italy, the “most ‘generous’ country in Europe when it comes to granting new passports,” Il Sole 24 noted.

A healthy exchange of people and goods

With such a deep connection, and with foreign relations affecting millions of families in both Italy and Brazil, the exchange of people, money and goods between these two countries is critical. Both countries are in the G20 group of industrialised nations, and trade figures reported in infoMercatiEsteri showed that in 2018, Italy imported €3.5 billion worth of goods from Brazil — its 12th-largest source country — and Brazil imported €4.5 billion worth of goods from Italy — its 7th-largest source country.

Citizenship agreements and regulatory laws have also improved the financial relationship between Italy and Brazil over time. In 1960, for example, a law was enacted allowing favourable terms for Brazilians to settle in Italy, and a 1979 agreement prevented double taxation of migrants in either country, the Ministério da Economia notes. With these international agreements in place and businesses and families able to send money easily between the two countries, individuals who migrate from one nation to the other are able to set themselves up for financial success.

Global economics for individuals

The migratory, trade and financial history between Italy and Brazil have allowed the two countries — and the migrants therein — to form strong financial bonds. Indeed, the national relationship between the two countries is strong, and with the Western Union® app, migrants are poised to benefit from it. Many Brazilians in Italy have businesses, families or other obligations in their native country, and they need reliable ways to regularly send money back home. Western Union money transfer services offer a fast option to get your money to Brazil. You can have your loved ones or business partners pick up cash at one of thousands of locations in Brazil, or you can schedule one-time or recurring payments to deposit directly into a bank account. Global economic trends might seem distant from your day-to-day, but the strong relationship between Brazil and Italy, as well as quick, reliable money transfer services, can help you manage your finances and stay connected with loved ones back home — no matter which country is home.

This Article was written by

David Plaisant David is a freelance journalist and writer who has been based in Rome since 2016. He covers a wide range of subjects including travel, lifestyle and culture, contributing to titles such as Monocle, Kinfolk and The Guardian. Being an experienced podcast presenter and producer, David also made a new podcast series for Triennale di Milano in 2019. David engages in copywriting work for commercial clients worldwide including for fashion brands and urban placemaking branding.

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