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Middle East

Volume 884: debated on Thursday 23 January 1975

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asked the Secretary of State for Trade if any trade missions were sent to Middle East countries in 1974; and whether any such missions are contemplated for 1975.

Yes. In 1974 the British Overseas Trade Board supported 16 outward missions to the Middle East in which 221 British firms took part. So far 23 outward missions are planned to these territories in 1975.

asked the Secretary of State for Trade if he will arrange for special studies to be made of the market for British exports excluding arms, in Syria, Saudi Arabia and the Gulf States in the light of the enhanced oil revenues of these countries.

My Department already receives from our commercial posts abroad a regular flow of information on projected developments and export opportunities in Syria, Saudi Arabia and the Gulf States, and other countries in the Middle East benefiting from oil revenues. These are conveyed to industry. In addition my Department, together with the Committee for Middle East Trade, is active in trying to identify and initiate opportunities in these countries. While I do not believe that separate market studies would add significantly to this information at this stage the question of techniques for improving retrieval and dissemination of commercial opportunities in the Middle East countries is under constant review.