David Cameron buoyed by Brazil trade trip

 

Prime Minister David Cameron returned to Britain today at the end of a two-day visit to Brazil to promote British trade.

On the final day of his whistlestop tour Mr Cameron said there were "good signs" that Britain's economy was finally rebalancing in the wake of the global financial crisis.

Following the success of the London Olympics, Mr Cameron said the "British brand" had never been stronger overseas.

He also gave his strongest indication yet that he may call for a referendum on EU membership if he is returned to power after the next general election.

Mr Cameron said there would be an opportunity for the British people to give "fresh consent" to UK membership of the European Union.

Speaking in a round of TV interviews during his visit to Brazil, the PM said: "I don't think it is in Britain's interests to leave the EU but I do think what it is increasingly becoming the time for is a new settlement between Britain and Europe, and I think that new settlement will require fresh consent."

He added: " I argue for Britain's membership because I want to be able to say to countries like Brazil 'Come to Britain and you can sell to the 320 million consumers across Europe'."

The Prime Minister also struck a determinedly upbeat note about the UK's economic prospects, with exports to countries like Brazil picking up again.

"In the last two years we've seen a million net new jobs in the private sector. That shows our economy is rebalancing," he said.

"For too many years, the state was too big and the private sector was too small. We were too reliant on financial services; we weren't making enough, we weren't exporting enough, we weren't selling enough.

"That is changing. Businesses are starting up in Britain at a record rate. We need to get behind that and encourage that and that's what I do as Prime Minister."

Asked if he thought the economy had now turned the corner, Mr Cameron said: "I'm not a forecaster; it's not for me to say that.

"But I think what is happening is the rebalancing I'm talking about; that's happening. The private sector is growing the number of jobs, the number of people employed. "

Mr Cameron said the London Olympics provided a showcase of what the country was capable of achieving.

"The British brand has never been stronger. We put on an incredible show in London in 2012, that was a fantastic advertisement for modern Britain and all that we can achieve," he said.

The visit to Brazil - the economic powerhouse of South America - was intended to "bang the drum" for British business and Mr Cameron said it had succeeded in creating or safeguarding 3,000 jobs in the UK.

"I've always been determined, since becoming Prime Minister, to link Britain to the fastest growing emerging economies of the world," he said.

"I think it's an important part of my job to bash down those doors, to help those deals be done, because it means jobs back at home."

Mr Cameron also sounded a warning to Brazil's neighbour Argentina, insisting it must respect the outcome of next year's referendum by Falkland Islanders on their future.

"I think the Argentinians have got to understand that the Falkland Islanders are the ones who should determine their own future," he said.

"If they understand that, there's no reason why Britain and Argentina can't have perfectly cordial and sensible relations."

Mr Cameron literally handed over the Olympic baton from London to 2016 hosts Rio de Janeiro when he held talks with president Dilma Rousseff, presenting her with one of the actual relay batons used at the 2012 Games.

And he announced that Ms Rousseff has agreed to hold a summit in Rio in November where Britain can share its expertise on staging the Games.

Ms Rousseff hailed the "brilliantly organised" London Olympics and said that Mr Cameron's visit reflected "a common shared willingness to draw closer ties and a more dynamic bilateral co-operation" between the UK and Brazil.

But she also voiced a difference with the UK Government on the need for state investment to stimulate the world economy into recovery.

"I stressed the importance of expanding efforts with a view to improving the conditions that will prove conducive to a recovery of the international economy, not only as regards developed countries but also as regards emerging countries," said the socialist president.

"I have told the Prime Minister that Brazil has done its share in efforts to improve the recovery of the world economy by means of stimuli to jobs and growth."

The Prime Minister was joined by some of Team GB's Olympic heroes during a visit to an inspirational sporting project set up by a British boxer in the heart of the favela slums of Rio de Janeiro.

Young people at the Luta Pela Paz (LPP) - Fight for Peace - project had the opportunity to pit themselves against gold-medallist boxers Anthony Joshua and Nicola Adams and silver-winning judo star Gemma Gibbons and pick up some tips from the Olympic stars.

Mr Cameron described the project, set up by Londoner Luke Dowdney 12 years ago, as "incredible" and said it was an example of how sport can be used to help children from difficult backgrounds make something of their lives.

Some of the youngsters told him how the project had given them a chance to get an education and keep out of the hands of the drug gangs whose feuds are a big factor in the thousands of gun deaths in Rio each year.

Mr Dowdney, 39, said: "I boxed as an amateur when I was younger and I saw that boxing was a brilliant way to access young people who were getting into violence and drug trafficking and weren't going to school.

"At the time we set up there were 7,000 gun deaths a year in Rio state. That's gone down to 4,500 but it's still extremely high - mostly to do with drugs.

"The idea is to use boxing to get the young people in and then we also give them job training, youth leadership and mentoring."

The centre has already produced two national champions and hopes are high to get members into the Brazilian team for the 2016 Olympics in Rio.

Success in Rio led to LPP setting up a boxing academy in east London in 2008, which has already helped 2,000 youngsters, said Mr Dowdney.

PA

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment
Tony Hughes (James Nesbitt) after his son Olly disappeared on a family holiday in France
tv
Arts and Entertainment
The Apprentice candidates Roisin Hogan, Solomon Akhtar, Mark Wright, Bianca Miller, Daniel Lassman
tvReview: But which contestants got the boot?
Arts and Entertainment
Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels ride again in Dumb and Dumber To
filmReview: Dumb And Dumber To was a really stupid idea
Extras
indybest
Sport
Scunthorpe goalkeeper Sam Slocombe (left) is congratulated by winning penalty taker Miguel Llera (right)
football
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Customer Services Administrator - Swedish Speaking

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity to join an awa...

Recruitment Genius: Facilities Manager

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A Facilities Manager is required to join the m...

Recruitment Genius: New Business Sales Consultant - Mobile - OTE £35,000

£14000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This independent telecoms compa...

Recruitment Genius: New Business Sales Consultant - Unified - OTE £35,000

£14000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This independent telecoms compa...

Day In a Page

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas
La Famille Bélier is being touted as this year's Amelie - so why are many in the deaf community outraged by it?

Deaf community outraged by La Famille Bélier

The new film tells the story of a deaf-mute farming family and is being touted as this year's Amelie
10 best high-end laptops

10 best high-end laptops

From lightweight and zippy devices to gaming beasts, we test the latest in top-spec portable computers
Michael Carberry: ‘After such a tough time, I’m not sure I will stay in the game’

Michael Carberry: ‘After such a tough time, I’m not sure I will stay in the game’

The batsman has grown disillusioned after England’s Ashes debacle and allegations linking him to the Pietersen affair
Susie Wolff: A driving force in battle for equality behind the wheel

Susie Wolff: A driving force in battle for equality behind the wheel

The Williams driver has had plenty of doubters, but hopes she will be judged by her ability in the cockpit
Adam Gemili interview: 'No abs Adam' plans to muscle in on Usain Bolt's turf

'No abs Adam' plans to muscle in on Usain Bolt's turf

After a year touched by tragedy, Adam Gemili wants to become the sixth Briton to run a sub-10sec 100m
Calls for a military mental health 'quality mark'

Homeless Veterans campaign

Expert calls for military mental health 'quality mark'
Racton Man: Analysis shows famous skeleton was a 6ft Bronze Age superman

Meet Racton Man

Analysis shows famous skeleton was a 6ft Bronze Age superman
Garden Bridge: St Paul’s adds to £175m project’s troubled waters

Garden Bridge

St Paul’s adds to £175m project’s troubled waters
Stuff your own Christmas mouse ornament: An evening class in taxidermy with a festive feel

Stuff your own Christmas mouse ornament

An evening class in taxidermy with a festive feel
Joint Enterprise: The legal doctrine which critics say has caused hundreds of miscarriages of justice

Joint Enterprise

The legal doctrine which critics say has caused hundreds of miscarriages of justice
Freud and Eros: Love, Lust and Longing at the Freud Museum: Objects of Desire

Freud and Eros

Love, Lust and Longing at the Freud Museum