9. Mr. A. Cecil Walker
asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what steps he is taking to foster and cement good relationships between the United Kingdom and Brazil; whether he will seek to visit Brazil; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mr. Renton
We have close and friendly relations with Brazil. These links were further strengthened by the visit of my noble Friend the Minister of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs in July and by recent parliamentary visits in both directions.
Is the Minister aware that the Brazilian economy continues to grow despite the economic problems in the world, and that British exporters can only benefit from good political relationships with that country? Is he further aware that the Brazilian Government 1045 annually purchase from British defence suppliers £80 million of goods and have never demanded an offset agreement? Is he aware also that the arrangement between Short Brothers of Belfast and Embraer provides Brazil with little in money terms? Does the Minister recognise that a contract for the new basic RAF trainer would greatly assist in cementing good relations with both countries?
§ Mr. Renton
I appreciate the hon. Gentleman's close interest in the Shorts—Embraer bid to supply the RAF with a new trainer. It is one of four bids currently being considered by my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Defence. It will be given close attention and, like all the other bids, every other relevant consideration, including political factors, will be taken into account.