Scotland

Trade delegation heads for Brazil

Scotland's largest ever trade mission to Brazil has kicked off, with the aim of building sporting links as well as exports.

Brazil is seen as having one of the big four emerging economies, with growth in the same league as China and India.

Scottish companies already export £180m worth of goods and services to the South American giant.

The trade mission has been organised by the Scottish Council for Development and Industry.

The Scottish trade delegation, being led by Scottish Secretary Michael Moore, represents a wide range of sectors including education, food and drink, sport, energy, finance and engineering.

During the visit to Rio de Janeiro, Sao Paulo and Brasilia, Mr Moore plans to attract Brazil's attention through a shared interest in staging the global sporting events.

While the UK and Scotland will hold the 2012 London Olympics, Paralympics, 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games and the 2014 Ryder Cup, Brazil is hosting the football World Cup in 2014 and the Rio Olympics and Paralympics in 2016.

Speaking ahead of the trade mission, Mr Moore said: "Brazil has no shortage of countries wishing to do business with it.

"I am confident that the expertise of Scottish companies means that we can take on the rest of the world.

"I also think that world sporting calendar provides Scotland with its unique selling point for the next few years.

"The fact that the UK and Brazil are hosting the world's most prestigious sporting events over the next five years is providing a great link between our two countries and we need to maximise that advantage."

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