UK Politics

Clegg targets doubling of Brazil exports on trade visit

Nick Clegg (left) meets Geraldo Alckmin, the Governor of Sao Paulo state
Image caption Mr Clegg said there were good opportunities for British business in Brazil

Nick Clegg has said the UK should aim to double the value of exports to Brazil as he seeks to develop trade links on a visit to the country.

He is heading a business delegation to Brazil, one of the world's fastest growing economies and UK's leading trade partner in Latin America.

The deputy prime minister said there were opportunities for firms in sectors such as banking, science and energy.

UK exports to Brazil totalled £2.1bn in 2010 and bilateral trade £5.2bn.

Mr Clegg is being accompanied on the two-day trip by Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt, Universities Minister David Willetts and Trade and Investment Minister Lord Green as well as the heads of 20 leading firms.

'Natural partner'

Speaking in Sao Paulo, the deputy prime minister said Brazil was a "natural partner" for the UK in a number of areas - pointing out that UK exports to Brazil had risen by 29% over the past year.

"The UK government is committed to further strengthening our trade and investment links with Brazil," he said.

"As Brazil is set to be the fifth largest economy in the world by 2016, UK companies - with the help of UK Trade and Investment - should seize on every opportunity to prosper in Brazil."

Mr Clegg, who later held talks with senior Brazilian ministers, was due to make the trip earlier this year.

However, it was postponed at short notice after he was forced to remain in London to oversee the passage of legislation through Parliament.

Brazil's foreign ministry said that its bilateral trade relationship with the UK offered "great potential for co-operation, especially in the areas of education, science, technology and innovation".

Ministers have pledged to give greater priority to emerging economic powers in Latin America and Asia as they seek to make trade and inward investment central to their diplomatic focus.

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