PM celebrates £100m trade deals

Prime Minister David Cameron has celebrated UK companies winning trade deals worth more than £100 million with Brazil, as he led a delegation of more than 50 British businesses to the South American country.

Among the deals is a contract for London-based Bluecube to provide seating for the Fortaleza stadium for the upcoming World Cup in Brazil.

Mr Cameron was offered a coveted invitation to the opening game of the 2014 tournament by the Governor of Sao Paulo, as he opened a £60 million JCB factory near the city. The 350,000 square foot assembly plant for excavators and diggers is expected to generate £100 million a year in orders for the company's components plants in Staffordshire, Derbyshire and Wales.

In an interview with Sao Paulo newspaper Folha, Mr Cameron admitted that Britain had been "under-performing" in its trade relationship with Brazil, now the world's sixth biggest economy.

The UK accounts for 1.5% of imports to Brazil, compared with 6.4% from Germany.

The 58-strong business delegation was the largest to accompany the PM on his series of trade missions to the emerging economic giants of the 21st century.

Brazil is the last of the four BRIC economies he has visited, after Russia, India and China, and he has now been to all of the G20 countries with the exception of Argentina.

Among the PM's party were representatives of the energy, finance, utility and higher education sectors as well as defence companies, including BAE Systems, as the UK continues to seek arms deals with Brazil despite its support for Argentina over the Falklands.

Making his visit to the JCB plant in Sorocaba, near Sao Paulo, Mr Cameron said: "This visit is about British jobs, British growth and the British economy, because I want Britain to be tied up to the fastest-growing economies on the planet."

Mr Cameron later met Maria das Gracas, CEO of Brazil's massive state energy company Petrobas, in Rio de Janeiro to try to persuade her to consider UK firms for contracts in the expanding oil and gas sector. With Petrobas looking to invest some 236 billion US dollars (£145 billion) over the coming four years, the Prime Minister told Ms das Gracas that, with 40 years of experience in the North Sea, British companies have expertise which she can draw upon.