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Clegg heads sporting business drive

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg is leading efforts to use the success of the London Olympics to win roles for British firms in future major sporting events across the globe.

The latest in a series of business summits covering the duration of the Games and the Paralympics is focused on Brazil, which will host the 2016 summer Games in Rio.

Government investment experts believe that up to £1.5 billion of high-profile contracts could be won in delivering that event and the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia and 2020 football world cup in Qatar.

British firms are already in charge of a master plan for the Rio Olympic Park, the stadium design for Sochi and a number of infrastructure development and planning projects in Qatar.

Trade missions are planned to all three countries with the overall potential economic legacy of the 2012 Games to the UK economy put at £13 billion.

That is made up of £1 billion of extra sales for businesses, £4 billion of big contracts in the three countries, £6 billion of inward investment and £2.3 billion in extra tourism.

The event, co-hosted by Mr Clegg and Brazil's vice president Michel Temer, will be told of plans by Brazilian IT services firm Asyst International + Rhealeza to create 700 UK jobs over three years and a contract to supply underwater components for an offshore project in the Santos Basin going to Bristol firm Viper Subsea, which expects to be able to double its staff to 50.

Mr Clegg said: "It's not only our athletes who have shown themselves to be world-class, British businesses have played a key role in delivering our most successful games in history.

"Producing the most spectacular show on earth has given UK companies the skills and expertise to support Brazil as the baton is passed to Rio 2016. We have identified huge opportunities for UK firms to work on the next Olympic games in Sochi and Rio - a golden boost to British businesses that will create jobs and support economic growth."

CBI director general John Cridland said: "British business has played a huge part in delivering a fantastic Olympic Games. We now want to build on that achievement, and the talent and skills that have underpinned it, to create a legacy which helps the UK to secure growth and new jobs in the years ahead."

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