Programmes are just nuts about Brazil

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UK Trade and Industry has unveiled two programmes to boost business between Yorkshire and the next nation to host the Olympics, Brazil.

The government-backed organisation that helps UK companies to boost their international trade is to launch its Passport to Global Sports Projects programme with a one-day introductory workshop in Sheffield next month.

UKTI is also planning to stage a trade mission to Brazil in November, which will coincide with Soccerex, the premier global football exhibition which takes place in Rio de Janeiro, which is also due to host the 2014 World Cup.

The mission will also take in Sao Paulo – Brazil’s industrial heartland – where there are opportunities in a range of sectors including engineering and healthcare.

UKTI says exports from Yorkshire and Humber to Brazil last year totalled nearly £373 million and there is scope to build on that foundation.

Regional director Mark Robson said: “The Passport to Global Sports Projects programme is specifically aimed at companies that can potentially get involved in the delivery of an international sports event, while the Trade Mission is an invaluable opportunity for businesses to make contacts and gain real insight into the competitive Brazilian market.”

Lorraine Ellison, who is leading the mission on behalf of UKTI Yorkshire and Humber, added: “Brazil is simply too big a market to ignore.

“Of the four countries in the BRIC economy, it is the closest to the UK economically and politically and has recently overtaken the UK in size of GDP. Brazil currently has fantastic opportunities to showcase its new found economic strength and confidence – and UKTI is actively playing a role in trying to capture these opportunities for British companies.

“British architects have already triumphed by winning the contract for the design of the Olympic Stadium in Rio and UKTI are helping businesses pursue a range of major infrastructure projects that Brazil is putting out to tender - from airport development to urban regeneration and environmental programmes.”