Cameron pitches for UK defence sector
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
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
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.