£100m in business ‘wins’ have already been reported following previous trips organised by UK Trade & Investment and the Secretary of State for Scotland David Mundell visited leading Scottish bus manufacturer Alexander Dennis which benefited from the initiative.
Three leading Scottish firms - Aberdeen-based 2020 Project Management, bus and coach manufacturer Alexander Dennis Ltd and Aberdeen-based engineering consultancy Tech 27 Systems Ltd – joined 20 other UK companies in a recent trade mission to Brazil alongside the Minister for Trade and Investment, Lord Maude.
The delegation was organised by UK Trade & Investment – part of the UK Government which works with British businesses to ensure their success in international markets through exports. It also encourages overseas companies to look at the UK as the best place to set up or expand their business.
The Brazil expedition included a visit to the famous Olympic Park in Rio where UKTI helped Scottish delegates explore the potential for commercial opportunities around the Rio 2016 Games through direct engagement sessions with other British companies already involved in this and other major sporting event venues throughout Brazil.
Representatives from the three Scottish firms met with industry experts, businesses and prominent trade associations in Sao Paulo and heard a range of presentations on doing business in Brazil.
UK businesses across a range of sectors had already won in excess of an estimated £100m in contracts for the Rio 2016 Olympics ahead of the visit, according to UKTI, much of which has been a result of the great success of British expertise at the London 2012 Olympics and Glasgow Commonwealth Games.
Larbert-based Alexander Dennis has already won a multi-million pound contract with China following a similar UKTI delegation visit to South East Asia led by the Prime Minister earlier this year.
David Mundell, the Secretary of State for Scotland said: “The Rio 2016 Olympics is a special opportunity for Scottish businesses to forge links in South America and demonstrate the extraordinary level of innovation that is happening in Scotland right now.
Partnership initiatives are just one example of the UK Government’s incredible trade network and it’s rewarding to see UKTI help Scottish companies benefit greatly through increased ability to compete in the international marketplace and harness inward investment.
I met the team at Alexander Dennis in their impressive factory in Falkirk earlier this week and saw first-hand how that business has benefitted as a direct result of improved international business links with countries like Brazil through the UKTI Rio partnership initiative.
Gustavo Marqueta, Business Development Director at bus manufacturer Alexander Dennis, said:
The initiative by UKTI has opened doors and forged connections for our company with the leading transport authorities in Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro.
Brazil is one of the most populated countries in the world. Their multi-million inhabitant cities are suffering from high levels of traffic and pollution, and city governments have confirmed that investments in transport infrastructure are one of their key priorities for the next few years.
They were pleased to hear that Alexander Dennis has the experience in helping other global cities in supplying efficient, low emission public transport buses, which contribute to improved air quality, reduced greenhouse gas emissions and enhanced quality of commuting for their citizens.