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West Africa

Volume 890: debated on Monday 21 April 1975

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asked the Secretary of State for Trade (1) whether his Department is at present contemplating sending a trade mission to Nigeria during the year; what other steps his Department is presently taking to study the potential market for British exports to that country; and if he will make a statement on the present state

Using the 1974 classification of areas, the following are the percentage distributions by value:of trade between Great Britain and Nigeria;(2) whether his Department is at present contemplating sending a trade mission to Dahomey during the coming year; what other steps his Department is presently taking to study the potential market for British exports to that country; and if he will make a statement upon the present state of trade between Great Britain and Dahomey;(3) whether his Department is at present contemplating sending a trade mission to Ghana during the coming year; and what other steps his Department is presently taking to study the potential market for British exports to that country; and if he will make a statement upon the present state of trade between Great Britain and Ghana;(4) whether his Department is at present contemplating sending a trade mission to Togo during the coming year; what other steps his Department is presently taking to study the potential market for British exports to that country; and if he will make a statement upon the present state of trade between Great Britain and Togo;(5) whether his Department is at present contemplating sending a trade mission to Sierra Leone during the coming year; what other steps his Department is presently taking to study the potential market for British exports to that country; and if he will make a statement upon the present state of trade between Great Britain and Sierra Leone;(6) whether his Department is at present contemplating a trade mission to the Ivory Coast during the coming year; what other steps his Department is taking at the present time to study the potential market for British exports to that country; and if he will make a statement upon the present state of trade between Great Britain and the Ivory Coast;(7) whether his Department is at present contemplating sending a trade mission to Guinea during the coming year; what other steps his Department is presently taking to study the potential market for British exports to that country; and if he will make a statement upon the present state of trade between Great Britain and Guinea;(8) whether his Department is at present contemplating sending a trade mission to Liberia during the coming year; what other steps his Department is presently taking to study the potential market for British exports to that country; and if he will make a statement upon the present state of trade between Great Britain and Liberia.

My right hon. Friend has recently returned from a visit to Nigeria. Over the next 12 months five trade missions sponsored by chambers of commerce and trade associations and assisted by the British Overseas Trade Board will be visiting Nigeria and several others are under consideration. Firm arrangements have been made for two missions to Ghana and another is under discussion; one mission has been arranged for Sierra Leone. The board has as yet no proposals for missions to Dahomey, Togo, Ivory Coast, Guinea or Liberia but a mission has just returned from Ivory Coast.My Department and the Commercial Departments of the High Commisions and Embassies in the countries mentioned are keeping a close watch on the potential for British exports to these markets. A considerable flow of information to exporters about them is maintained through the Export Intelligence Service and other channels. We pay particular attention to new prospects arising from developments such as the publication of Nigeria's Third Development Plan, 1975–80, and the signature of the Lome Convention.The Tropical Africa Advisory Group has recently been re-established to assist the Department and British Overseas Trade Board in the promotion of British exports to all the countries of Tropical Africa.Details of our trade with these countries are published in the Overseas Trade Statistics.