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Developing Countries (Export Opportunities)

Volume 14: debated on Monday 30 November 1981

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asked the Secretary of State for Trade what likelihood he now sees in the light of the recent North-South summit at Cancun in Mexico, of developing countries opening their markets to more imports in the next 12 months; and to what extent the United Kingdom might benefit from such a development.

The reduction of trade barriers is bound to be a long and difficult process, especially at a time of world recession. My right hon. Friend, the Prime Minister said at Cancun that, as developing countries grow stronger, they, too, should open their markets more widely, if the open-trading system is to be maintained. We shall be following this up in the various international discussions which will take place in the next year or so. We welcome the efforts developed countries are making to free trade between themselves. The extent to which the United Kingdom will benefit will depend on the competitiveness of our industry.