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Exhibition, Kiev

Volume 176: debated on Wednesday 18 July 1990

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To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what assessment he has made of the effects of the British exhibition in Kiev in terms of the promotion of United Kingdom trade and exports.

British exports to the Soviet Union are up 35 per cent. so far this year but we believe this largely reflects orders taken some 18 months to two years ago. Given that such time lags are normal in trade with the Soviet Union, it would obviously be premature to assess the effects of last month's British trade exhibition in Kiev.The trade exhibition was part of a month-long British presence in Kiev comprising more than 25 different events, the centrepiece being an FCO exhibition depicting life in modern Britain. More than 40 British companies took part in the trade exhibition and accompanying seminar programme, which ran from 4–14 June and demonstrated British expertise in areas of major potential for business in the Ukraine.I can assure my hon. Friend that the trade exhibition, like the British month as a whole was a considerable success. Participating companies were delighted with the attention which they received from business visitors and I am confident that they will follow this up vigorously to convert these leads into the basis for increased economic co-operation, including British exports to the Soviet Union.