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Government can no longer neglect Brazil says UK foreign Secretary

02/03/2012

As William Hague prepares for his first visit to Brazil as Foreign Secretary, he talks of the importance it is for Britain

He was due to visit Brazil last year but was deferred by the fast moving events of the Arab Spring. In that time, Brazil leapfrogged the UK to become the sixth largest economy in the world.

"It's one of the emerging powers of the world," he said. "Its economy is in general growing quite rapidly. It’s also a country which shares a lot of our values and it's a country which is relatively easy for British people to trade and deal with.

"And of course, it is the country that will follow us with the Olympics, so it's going to be the centre of a huge amount of attention over the next decade.

"So for all these reasons it is a country that we must not neglect, and that I feel has been neglected in previous years. This is one of the things we are putting right under the current government."

Mr Hague is a strong supporter of Brazil's aspirations to become a permanent member of the UN Security Council, as the largest and most economically significant country in the region. He confirmed  trade statistics to show how Britain's business links with Brazil are increasing and proudly pointed out that there have been 14 ministerial visits since the coalition government was formed in May 2010 – compared to only 10 in the whole of the previous three years. He also went onto to confirm that Britain will treble or even quadruple efforts in order to have a better relationship with Brazil.

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