Press release

Business Secretary visits Brazil to maintain trade push

Vince Cable to promote government’s aerospace strategy and supply-chain opportunities on Sao Paulo aircraft manufacturer visit

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

  • 2014 World Cup and 2016 Olympics in Brazil both present significant export opportunities for UK businesses
  • Secretary of State will also promote education opportunities
  • Government aims to double trade with Brazil by 2015

The Business Secretary Vince Cable will this week visit Brazil to promote the UK’s aerospace strategy and maximise opportunities for British businesses in Brazil, host country of the next World Cup and Olympics.

During his three-day trip, the Business Secretary will visit Embraer, the world’s third largest manufacturer of commercial jets, to identify the potential for British firms to secure business at various points in the global aerospace supply-chain. Currently, half of the world’s commercial aircraft have wings manufactured in the UK. The government’s aerospace strategy, published last month, set out ambitions for the sector to build on this success further.

Worldwide air traffic is expected to grow at a rate of 4.7% every year between now and 2030, meaning a doubling in air travel in the next 15 years. As a result, the aerospace industry in the UK has the potential for significant growth over the next 20 years.

The visit will begin in Sao Paulo, the continent’s business capital, before going on to Recife. The city in northern Brazil is enjoying a booming economy and has been chosen as one of the host cities for next year’s World Cup. Following the success of the London Olympics, British firms are keen to contribute to the success of the 2014 World Cup and 2016 Olympic Games in Brazil.

Vince Cable said:

Brazil is one of the fastest-growing economies in the world and I want to make sure British companies are aware of the opportunities. On my second trip to Brazil since becoming Business Secretary I will promote the UK aerospace sector, which has potential for more growth. It’s vital that businesses showcase our world-class capability to manufacturers in markets like Brazil so we can take advantage of new opportunities and get more jobs in the UK.

The upcoming World Cup and Olympics in Brazil also offer around £4 billion worth of export business that British companies are best placed to win, not least because of our experience of delivering a successful London 2012.

The visit will also form part of a wider effort to attract talented students from Latin America. The UK is home to world-leading universities and the Business Secretary is keen that international students are aware of the benefits of getting a degree or PhD qualification in the UK. In particular, the Business Secretary will highlight the success of the ‘Science without Borders’ programme, the first large scale student mobility programme operated in the UK.

Established with the aim of fostering innovation and knowledge exchanges, it allows Brazilian students to spend three months in industrial placements with businesses such as Ford UK, GlaxoSmithKline and Unilever as part of sandwich degree courses. To date, over 1,100 undergraduate students have benefited from the programme.

At the same time as Vince Cable’s trip to Brazil, the Universities Minister, David Willetts, will visit Mexico and Colombia to encourage students from those countries to apply to British universities.

David Willetts said:

Few countries are able to match the UK for providing a top quality university education. The success of ‘Science without Borders’ in attracting Brazilian students is testament to this, and although the programme will generate over £200 million for the UK economy, its impact goes far beyond the financial.

Attracting more students from emerging economies like Mexico and Colombia and will lead to other forms of engagement between them and the UK in the future, such as study exchanges for UK students and research collaborations.

During the visit to Brazil, the Business Secretary will also attend the UK-Brazil Joint Economic and Trade Committee (JETCO) where he will emphasise the government’s commitment to its target of doubling trade between the two nations by 2015. The Business Secretary will be accompanied for the duration of the visit by a delegation of UK businesses to further develop trade ties between the UK and Brazil.

In a specific boost for the automotive sector, Vince Cable will also announce the opening of a new Vehicle Certification Agency office in Sao Paulo, the first to be opened in Latin America.

In addition to meeting with the Brazilian Minister of Development, Industry and Commerce, Vince Cable will hold bilateral discussions with the Governor of Sao Paulo, and also the Governor of Recife, where Vince Cable will take the opportunity to tour the Consulate-General which opened in late 2011.

Both the Business Secretary and the Universities Minister will use their trips to reaffirm the UK’s commitment to driving progress on the negotiations for a Free Trade Agreement between the EU and Mercosur states.

In Sao Paulo, the Business Secretary will: * visit the aerospace company Embraer * hold discussions on technology partnerships between Brazilian companies and UK universities * attend the UK-Brazil Joint Economic and Trade Committee (JETCO) * announce the opening of the new Vehicle Certification Agency office in Sao Paulo * attend a networking Business Breakfast with the business delegation * hold bilaterals with counterpart Ministers in the Brazilian Government

In Recife, the Business Secretary will: * visit Suape port and Industrial complex with part of business delegation * visit Porto Digital to meet regional winners of UK’s tech start-up games competition * meet local businesses to find out more about the UK and Brazil can best work together

Notes to editors

  • Brazil is the UK’s largest trading partner in Latin America
  • in 2012, Brazil’s economy grew by 0.9 per cent and is expected to grow by 3% this year
  • 400 of the world’s 500 biggest companies operate in Brazil
  • the UK exported £2.7billion in goods to Brazil in 2012, exports of services were £0.6 billion in 2011
  • bilateral trade in goods and services between the UK and Brazil was £5.2 billion in 2011
  • Brazil is planning £330 billion of investment in its infrastructure over the next five years
  • it is the 8th largest economy in the world and is expected to be the 5th by 2050
  • Brazil is the world’s eighth biggest consumer market and has the best science base outside the G8
  • UK companies that have significant investments in Brazil include: Accessorize, Aggreko, AstraZeneca, BG Group, BP, BT, Bunzl, Burberry, G4S, GKN Aerospace, GSK, HSBC, JCB, Rexam, Rio Tinto, Rolls Royce, Shell, Topshop, Triumph, Serasa Experian Swire Oilfield Services, Subsea 7, Weir Group and Wellstream
  • Brazil has begun to deepen its engagement with the City of London. Since 2009, Banco de Brasil, the Brazilian Development Bank (BNDES), BMF&Bovespa (Sao Paulo stock exchange) and Itau Bank, have opened offices in London. Marfreg, the Brazilian food company, have just announced that Northern Ireland will be their European hub. Marfreg is the largest foreign investor in Northern Ireland
  1. The government’s aerospace industrial strategy, ‘Lifting Off – Implementing the Strategic Vision for UK Aerospace’ was published last month.

  2. The ‘Science without Borders’ programme is managed in the UK by UK HE International Unit (IU) on behalf of Universities UK.

  3. The business delegation includes:
    • Noronha Advogados
    • Invensys
    • Salamanca
    • JLR
    • AgustaWestland
    • Mott MacDonald
    • Ultra Global
    • AMS Acoustics
    • Bechtel
    • Pascall and Watson
    • Chemring
    • Foster and Partners
    • Cobham
  4. The government’s economic policy objective is to achieve ‘strong, sustainable and balanced growth that is more evenly shared across the country and between industries.’ It set four ambitions in the ‘Plan for Growth’ (PDF 1.7MB), published at Budget 2011:
    • to create the most competitive tax system in the G20
    • to make the UK the best place in Europe to start, finance and grow a business
    • to encourage investment and exports as a route to a more balanced economy
    • to create a more educated workforce that is the most flexible in Europe

Work is underway across government to achieve these ambitions, including progress on more than 250 measures as part of the Growth Review. Developing an Industrial Strategy gives new impetus to this work by providing businesses, investors and the public with more clarity about the long-term direction in which the government wants the economy to travel.

Published 22 April 2013