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The Secretary of State for Scotland begins a four day to visit to Porto Alegre, Rio de Janiero and Sao Paulo.
Combining UK influence and Scottish excellence gives Scotland the best of both worlds when we do business in Brazil, Scottish Secretary Michael Moore said as he began a four day visit to South America’s largest country.
The UK Government is hosting a UKTI Energy Showcase in Rio de Janiero this week where senior figures from the Brazilian Government and oil industry will be represented. Mr Moore is the host Minister for the UK Government at the event which allows Scottish and UK firms to promote their excellence to the expanding Brazilian energy market.
The Scottish Secretary said this was a prime example of how we can play to the strengths of the UK and Scotland by using the international reach and influence of the UK to open doors for Scottish companies.
Mr Moore’s first engagements in Brazil start on Sunday, March 10th and other elements of his four day visit include:
- a visit to the Southern Brazilian city of Porto Alegre at the invitation of the Governor who the Scottish Secretary met in London last year.
- joining up with Lord Coe in Rio de Janiero to promote the links between the UK and Brazil. Rio follows on from London as the next host of the Olympic and Paralympic Games in 2016.
- interviews with South American media in Sao Paulo to promote the UK and Scotland.
- helping representatives of Glasgow who are in Brazil to showcase Glasgow’s legacy plans for 2014, share their experience of the volunteering strategy and support Glasgow’s bid to host the 2018 Youth Olympic Games.
- supporting a Scottish Council for Development and Industry (SCDI) trade mission of Scottish companies and colleges who are looking to do business in Brazil.
Speaking ahead of the visit to Brazil, the Scottish Secretary said:
‘Brazil is a vitally important market that the UK Government is investing a great deal of time and resource in. A number of senior Ministers from the UK – including the Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister – have recently made the journey to Brazil to help develop Britain’s connections and business opportunities.
‘When you go to a country with more than 190 million people such as Brazil you see at first hand how Scotland benefits from being part of the overall UK effort. There are massive opportunities for Scotland but it can also be massively intimidating.
‘Every week staff from UK Trade and Investment (UKTI) and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) are working hard in places like Sao Paulo and Rio to assist Scottish companies.
‘There are big opportunities for Scotland to do business in Brazil. Our expertise in areas such as energy are highly sought after in Brazil’s emerging oil industry. Combining UK influence and Scottish excellence gives us the best of both worlds as we try to do business with Brazil that will create jobs back at home.
‘The UK Government’s Energy Showcase is a prime example of how we can play to the strengths of Scotland and the UK. The international clout of the UK works for Scotland and the other parts of the UK family.
‘I am delighted the Scottish Government and their Minister Fergus Ewing are attending the Energy Showcase and also helping to talk up Scotland. They are receiving the full support of the UK Government staff in Brazil and HM Ambassador to ensure their visit is as productive as possible.’
Statistics on Brazil’s economy
Designated one of UKTI’s High Growth Markets Brazil is simply too big a market to ignore. It is the fifth-largest country in the world with a population of around 190 million people. It has one of the world’s most rapidly developing economies and a GDP per head greater than either India or China.
Prospects in Brazil are set to intensify in the coming years thanks to two major global sporting events: the World Cup in 2014 and the Rio Olympics in 2016.
As such, swathes of infrastructure are now needed in Brazil from stadia to airports and ports, along with the external expertise to plan, deliver and build the huge numbers of individual projects that are on the drawing board or already underway. In fact, it’s estimated that the World Cup and the Olympics present opportunities for UK companies worth an estimated £47billion.