Business secretary Vince Cable will visit Brazil this week to promote UK aerospace strategy and maximise opportunities for British exports in the country.
During a three-day trip, the business secretary will visit aerospace company Embraer, the world’s third largest manufacturer of commercial jets, to identify the potential for British firms to secure business in the global aerospace supply-chain.
Currently, half of the world’s commercial aircraft have wings manufactured in the UK, and 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
Brazil, which is due to host the football World Cup next year and the Olympic Games in 2016, is one of the world’s fastest growing economies and has been identified as a significant export opportunity for the UK.
Mr Cable, who highlighted the British aerospace industry’s potential for growth, 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.”
“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,” he added.
The visit will also form part of a wider effort to attract talented students from Latin America.
The business secretary is keen to promote the benefits of getting a degree or PhD qualification in the UK.
Mr Cable 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.