JCB's Brazil plant 'will benefit West Midlands' economy'

Prime Minister David Cameron officially opened the JCB factory in Brazil

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The Staffordshire-based manufacturer JCB has opened a £63m factory in Brazil.

Chairman Sir Anthony Bamford said that the expansion in Brazil will not threaten jobs in the UK and would benefit the UK economy.

He said: "Quite a bit of the product is made as components [in the UK] and shipped to Brazil."

The factory in Sorocaba will eventually produce 10,000 machines a year, the company said.

Dr Ian Jackson, from Staffordshire University Business School, said that expanding in South America would also help JCB's export profile.

"In terms of their marketing and brand management the company will have a truly global reach," he said.

World Cup

In June the company was awarded what it described as one of its "biggest single orders" worth more than £60m to build more than 1,000 backhoe loaders.

The machines are being used to improve roads in Brazil.

Sir Anthony said: "We've been in Brazil for 10 years and our market has grown from 100 machines a year to 3,000 machines this year, so we outgrew our previous small plant in that time."

He said that with Brazil hosting both the football World Cup in 2014 and the Olympics in 2016 the country's government would be "spending a lot of money" and there were great opportunities for firms to export there.

The plant was officially opened by Prime Minister David Cameron, who is in Brazil on a trip to boost UK trade.

Mr Cameron said: "Brazil is now a top six economy and this visit is about safeguarding and creating 3,000 jobs back at home."

The prime minister, Trade Minister Lord Green and a 40-strong business delegation are visiting Sao Paulo.

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