HC Deb 25 July 1963 vol 681 cc1761-2
24. Sir W. Teeling

asked the President of the Board of Trade what are the reasons for the steady decrease of United Kingdom exports to Taiwan over the last three years, in view of the fact that Taiwan is becoming annually richer and increasing its trade with other European countries; what steps he is taking to remedy the situation; and what trade specialists are attached to the British Consulate in Taiwan.

Mr. Erroll

While our exports to Formosa fell in 1961 and in 1962, they have increased this year to date by more than 30 per cent. over the corresponding period last year. Commercial work in Formosa is undertaken by H.M. Consul and his staff and the facilities they offer, together with the export services provided by my Department, are available to British firms engaged in trade with this market.

Sir W. Teeling

I thank my right hon. Friend for that Answer, but does not the fact remain that we are not pushing our trade with Taiwan where there are more than 12 million people, now extremely well off? Is this because the United States of America is trying to stop us from trading with Taiwan?

Mr. Erroll

No. I am not aware of any approach by the United States Government to me about our trade with Formosa.

Mr. Snow

Would the right hon. Gentleman explain what are the political considerations given by the Government to trade with Formosa, bearing in mind the long-term need to encourage and develop trade with the People's Republic of China.

Mr. Erroll

We wish to encourage trade with every country which is prepared to pay for the goods which we sell, and that goes for China and Formosa and India, too.