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Trade And Development Programmes

Volume 978: debated on Monday 4 February 1980

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asked the Secretary of State for Trade what initiatives are being taken in the negotiation of individual or collective trade and development programmes to absorb an increased share of the surpluses of oil exporting countries in British exports.

With the full support of our posts overseas and export services at home, British exporters are participating actively in the trade and development programmes of all the oil exporting countries. Although performance in individual countries varies, United Kingdom exporters have generally been increasing their share of these markets in recent years.

I thank my right hon. Friend for his reply. Does he agree that, after his recent highly successful visit to the Far East, the time is now right for a similar trade visit to be made to the Middle East, to promote British trade?

I made an equally successful—although perhaps not so well publi- cised—visit to the Middle East only two months before going to the Far East. That was worth doing. I visited Saudi Arabia and Iraq and I spent a fair amount of time in both countries. Perhaps I shall have the opportunity of returning to the Middle East before the year is over. However, I have only just been there.