HC Deb 14 February 1983 vol 37 c8
9. Mr. Durant

asked the Secretary of State for Industry if he will pay official visits to Malaysia and Singapore to discuss further industrial co-operation.

Mr. Patrick Jenkin

I have no plans to go there at present.

Mr. Durant

Does my right hon. Friend agree that that part of the world is extremely important to high technology industries in the United Kingdom? Does he agree that my right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary's recent statement about students' fees will create a better atmosphere there? Does he agree that this is a good time to make an effort in that area? Will he reconsider his decision about sending a Minister there?

Mr. Jenkin

It is not for me to send Ministers, but I agree with everything else that my hon. Friend said. He will have seen reports in the press this morning of the remarks that were recently attributed to the Malaysian Prime Minister about the marked improvement in relations between Britain and Malaysia and the possibility of Dr. Mahathir Mohamed visiting Britain shortly. I am utterly persuaded of the importance to our commercial effort of the best possible relations with Malaysia and Singapore.