HC Deb 14 May 1973 vol 856 c1010
18. Mr. Skeet

asked the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what is the present balance of British trade with Brazil.

Sir G. Howe

Figures for the balance of trade are not available for individual countries. In 1972, United Kingdom exports to and imports from Brazil were £84 million fob and £86 million cif, respectively, but the difference between them is not a good measure of the visible trade balance because, among other things, of the difference in the bases of valuation.

Mr. Skeet

I am obliged to my right hon. and learned Friend for that reply. Is he aware that Brazil is the largest market in South America and that we are well behind the West Germans and the Americans in exporting to it, while we stand to be fourth in the league for investment? Surely British industry can do better than that. What do the Government propose to do to rectify this situation?

Sir G. Howe

I entirely agree with my hon. Friend about the importance of the Brazilian market. That is why the British Overseas Trade Board has designated it a priority market. That is why we have an expanding programme of participation in trade fairs and missions both ways, and why we are promoting the British industrial exhibition which is to be held in Sao Paolo in August next year.