Brazil and Belgium on Oct. 6 signed a four-year space-cooperation agreement covering Earth observation and satellite technologies and said they would work to eliminate import taxes on equipment covered under the agreement, the Brazilian Science Ministry and Belgium’s Liege Space Center (CSL) announced.

The agreement was signed in Liege, Belgium, by Carlos Ganem, president of the Brazilian Space Agency (AEB) and by CSL Director-General Jean-Marc Defise.

In a statement released by the Brazilian Science Ministry, Ganem said this first space-cooperation agreement between Brazil and Belgium had multiple benefits.

“Belgium, although not producing satellites and rockets, is an important partner for the quality of services provided within its universities, and relating to space optics. In addition, Belgian companies collaborate with the space program from countries such as France and Argentina.”

Belgium is a member of the 18-nation European Space Agency and is the agency’s sixth-largest financial contributor after France, Germany, Italy, Britain and Spain.