By Sarah de Sainte Croix, Senior Contributing Reporter

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – On the final day of his official visit to Brazil, the British Foreign Secretary, William Hague, confirmed yesterday that the UK plans to double trade with Brazil by 2015. The announcement is part of bigger plan designed to forge stronger bonds with Latin America, with Mexico and Colombia also in the UK’s sights.

British Foreign Affairs Minister, William Hague, speaking in Brasília this week, Brazil News
British Foreign Secretary, William Hague, speaking in Brasília this week, photo by Valter Campanato/ABr.

“We are the fourth largest investor in Brazil today. Our exports to Brazil increased 23 percent in 2010 and nine percent in 2011. British companies like British Gas, British Petroleum, Rolls Royce and Shell are investing heavily in the country, especially in Rio,” Hague said.

He praised the country for its achievements on the global economic stage, and highlighted Brazil’s widening diplomatic endeavors and strong defensive stand on human rights issues as areas of commonality between the two nations.

In the statement issued after a luncheon hosted by the Governor of Rio de Janeiro, Sergio Cabral, Rio de Janeiro and the capital’s mayor, Eduardo Paes, to discuss the preparation of the state of Rio de Janeiro for the 2016 Olympic Games, the British minister also re-defend the position of the United Kingdom in diplomatic matters.

Hague reiterated the position of England in the dispute over the Falklands/Malvinas Islands with Argentina and also highlighted the position of the British government in favor of nuclear disarmament, as well as the defense of a reform of the Security Council of the United Nations with the guarantee of a permanent seat for Brazil.

Hague also announced that in March this year, Prince Harry will travel to Rio to launch the GREAT campaign, which aims to promote the UK abroad and “deliver long-term economic benefits” on the back of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Read more in Portuguese.

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