Cameron pitches for UK defence sector
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Last Updated: Wednesday, April 11, 2012, 00:03
London: UK Prime Minister David Cameron is making an upfront pitch for Britain's defence sector during his ongoing visit to Japan and other countries in south-east Asia.

He also described the selling of arms to countries as "responsible and respectable".

Talking to accompanying media personnel on the plane to Tokyo, Cameron said his main task was to "fly the flag" for British-made goods.

Representatives of six defence companies are part of his large entourage, currently on a visit to Southeast Asia.

Cameron said that he was "upfront" about wanting to sell British military equipment, such as helicopters, to countries in south-east Asia.

He said: "There are a number of defence manufacturers with us. I'm completely up front about that because we do have a very strong defence sector.

"It accounts for a lot of jobs, we have some of the toughest rules on defence exports anywhere in the world".

Cameron added: "These countries, particularly Japan, have tended in the past to buy only American equipment are opening up, there are opportunities for people like AgustaWestland, who make helicopters, who are on this plane. I think that's perfectly responsible and respectable".

According to him, "art of the job of the prime minister is to load up an aeroplane full of business people, large and small, get out exports up, get our investment up, get out there and fly the flag for Britain. That is what I am trying to do this week".

During the visit, Britain and Japan are expected to sign a new defence pact.

Cameron today visited the Nissan plant in Yokohama, and welcomed the company's plans to support 1000 more jobs at its facility in Sunderland, north England.

His entourage includes Culture secretary Jeremy Hunt, Science minister David Willetts, chief scientist Sir John Beddington and representatives from BAE Systems, the Nuclear Industry Association and Rolls Royce.


First Published: Wednesday, April 11, 2012, 00:03

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