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    Wilson challenges Brits to capture Brazilian opportunities

    News // October 19, 2001
    Britain is well placed to capture a substantial share of the estimated £25 billion to be invested in the Brazilian energy sector over the next three years, Energy Minister, Brian Wilson, told an audience of more than 200 UK and Brazilian business leadersin mid-October.

    Speaking in Rio de Janeiro, Mr Wilson, who was leading one of the largest ever trade missions to the country, made up of companies with a broad range of skills and expertise in oil and gas, said: "The UK is well set to play an important part in the significant new investments that will take place right across the energy sector as Brazil responds to its energy crisis. This recently announced programme includes opportunities in power generation, engineering, transmission lines, pipelines, telecommunications, transport and infrastructure services".

    "We also want to become a leading partner in Brazil“s objective of becoming self-sufficient in oil and gas by 2005. As the world's fourth and ninth largest economies, we have much to gain from developing still closer links".

    Small and medium sized UK companies could do particularly well in Brazil, said Mr Wilson, if they fully seized the opportunities on offer.

    The Energy Minister said he took great encouragement from the 30 companies under the auspices of the Northern Offshore Federation and Aberdeen City Council who are in Rio as part of the trade mission. The mission is aiming to win new business and establish even stronger links between the energy capitals of the North Sea and the Southern Atlantic.

    Mr Wilson“s trip follows the ground breaking visit by Prime Minister, Tony Blair, in August, emphasising the importance that Britain places on increasing its level of investment and trade with Brazil.

    At the British Chamber of Commerce event, Mr Wilson also highlighted the potential opportunities available to UK companies in oil and gas exploration. Brazil has the second largest oil reserves in South America after Venezuela, and the fourth largest gasreserves. A fourth licensing round is expected by the end of the year.

    During his two day visit, Mr Wilson, met with the heads of the partially privatised state oil company, Petrobas, and Electrobas, the largest power holding company in the country. He also met the Governor of Rio de Janeiro.

    Mr Wilson was on the final leg of a tour of Latin American and
    Caribbean countries promoting UK companies and expertise. UK companies with current Brazilian interests include: BP, Shell, the BG Group, Enterprise Oil, Halliburton, and Amerada Hess.

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