World Bulletin/News Desk
British Prime Minister David Cameron had oil and sports on his mind when he visited Brazil this week seeking business opportunities in the South American nation that overtook Britain last year to become the world's No. 6 economy.
With the European Union in a slump, Cameron has turned to emerging BRIC nations - Brazil, Russia, India and China - as alternative markets for British exports and investments, with little to show so far.
With executives from 45 leading British companies in tow, Cameron met on Friday with Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff, who invited British businesses to invest in Brazil oil and gas, defense, mining and financial services industries.
"I think we can do a lot better," Rousseff said of growing but still negligible trade and investment flows between the two countries.
Rousseff said British interest in Brazil had come at the right time after her government announced last month a $66 billion investment in road and railway building as part of a massive plan to upgrade her country's dilapidated infrastructure, which includes modernizing ports and airports.
Following the success of the London Olympics this summer, Rousseff said Brazil was seeking British cooperation to prepare for the 2014 Soccer World Cup and the 2016 Olympics Games.
Cameron said British companies had signed more than $161 million in deals during his two-day visit, with another $400 million in potential contracts for companies that can help Brazil get ready for the two global sporting events it will host.
Earlier on Friday in Rio de Janeiro, accompanied by British companies hoping for a slice of Brazil's enormous energy potential, Cameron met with Maria das Gracas Foster, the president of Brazil's largest company, the state-led Petrobras .
Foster laid out the oil company's $236 billion investment plan for the next five years to develop Brazil's sub-salt off-shore oil reserves and become one of the world's top producers.
"We have an enormous potential in the oil and gas field, an enormous challenge, and we are open for business for the British industry in oil equipment and services," Foster told them.
Cameron visited the industrial state Sao Paulo on Thursday to open a new $100 million factory by Britain's JCB to make backhoes and excavating equipment.
"If you can't beat them, join them," he said in a speech to businessmen, urging a greater British partnership with Brazil.
Ethiopia, Africa's largest coffee grower, is set to continue talks with global buyers in hopes of branding and trademarking its world-renowned coffee and boosting national revenue.
Russia has banned the import of EU food products including fruit and vegetables from Poland, whose total food exports to Russia were worth around $1.5 bln last year.
Ukraine is prepared to compromise on the price until a lawsuit it has filed against Gazprom is resolved, minister Yuri Prodan said.
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Citizens unable to pay their credit card bills can apply to Finance Ministry to have their debts expunged.
Greek Cypriot Farmers’ Union EKA general secretary Panicos Hambas said that the Russian sanctions on the Greek Cypriot export of citrus fruits could lead Turkish Cypriot farmers to export their own fruits to Russia via Turkey.
The closing off of a major export market threatens to hurt segments of the euro zone economy at a time when growth is pretty poor anyway.
Soaring Chinese demand for commodities like coal has underwritten Mongolia's rapid growth, with more than 90 percent of its exports sold to China.
Thailand avoided recession in the second quarter, the state planning agency said on Monday, but questions remain about the pace and depth of growth.
The new ban would not apply to foreign automakers' production inside Russia. Ford, Volkswagen , Ford Renault, Toyota and Hyundai Motor Co all have production facilities inside Russia.
Across Asia's low-cost garment manufacturing industry in particular, there have been more strikes as unions use a shortage of skilled workers to press for better pay and improved safety
More than eight out of ten French citizens do not trust the government of Prime Minister Valls to improve economic situation, poll shows
Argentina defaulted for the second time in 12 years on July 31 after losing a lengthy legal battle with hedge funds demanding full payment on debt
The pipeline is expected to function on an interruptible basis from September and on a firm basis from March 2015.
Ethiopian gold exports rose to 12.35 tons during the reported period compared to 12.32 in the previous year.