UK bullish on Latin America

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In his Canning Lecture at Goldsmith's Hall in the City of London on 9 November 2010, UK foreign secretary William Hague said the UK was committed to strengthening its ties with Latin America.

He said the UK had a 'track record of underestimating Latin America', and that the last two decades have seen 'a steady decline in UK interest and representation' in the region, but that now the time has come to 're–launch' relations on a 'modern footing' and take advantage of the opportunities for political cooperation and trade and investment. The foreign secretary paid particular attention to relations with Brazil, which he noted is on course to be the world's fifth largest economy by 2025. He stressed the huge potential for increasing trade and investment, including cooperation on the 2012 and 2016 Olympic Games, reflected by the fact that in the past three years UK Trade and Investment has seen a 500% increase in the number of British companies looking for help with the Brazilian market. He reiterated that the UK backs reform of the United Nations, including an expanded Security Council with Brazil as a permanent member. He also praised Brazil's social policies, saying the Bolsa Família welfare programme is " a model for developing countries" .

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