British Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg arrives Tuesday in Brazil with a numerous delegation of business leaders, academics and sports figures to promote bilateral trade with Latin America’s largest economy.
The three-day visit is an attempt by the UK to double exports to Brazil by 2015 and with that in mind the 45-member delegation also includes universities minister David Willetts, the trade minister Lord Green and a foreign minister, Jeremy Browne. Besides Sao Paulo the group will visit Rio de Janeiro and the capital Brasilia.
Even when the main purpose of the visit is promoting trade and investments, Deputy PM Nick Clegg is expected to discuss, among other political issues, with Brazilian Foreign Affairs Antonio Patriota, recent events involving the Falkland Islands and continental solidarity with Argentina.
According to a report in the Financial Times Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt and Olympic officials will try to sell know-how on stadiums and major events organization ahead of the 2014 World Cup and the 2016 Games in Rio do Janeiro.
David Willets universities and science minister will attempt to convince wealthy Brazilians to study in the UK instead of the US and Trade Minister Lord Green will promote Navy shipbuilding contracts. The two countries navies have a long shared history going back to when the royal Portuguese house fearing Napoleon in Spain was taken from Lisbon to Brazil by the Royal Navy.
Britain is Brazil’s 11th biggest trade partner, well behind Germany, which ranks fourth and also behind Italy and France. Top British exports to the country include pharmaceutical products, chemicals, iron and steel and power-generating machinery.
British companies are very much involved in Brazil’s oil and gas industry both in exploration and in logistics support.
Deputy PM Clegg has already visited Mexico, the region’s second largest economy and has other trade visits to the region planed in the near future.
In a major foreign policy shift the UK coalition government is emphasizing trade with the emerging economies, mainly BRICS members, Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa and regions that managed to overcome the 2008 financial crisis.