HC Deb 16 November 1983 vol 48 c837
7. Mr. Waller

asked the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if he will make a statement about the level of trade with Iraq.

The Minister for Trade (Mr. Paul Channon)

In 1982 United Kingdom exports to Iraq totalled £875 million and imports from Iraq £80 million. In the first nine months of this year trade has been at about half those levels due to the influence of the Gulf war on Iraq's economy, but there are now welcome signs of more opportunities for British firms in Iraq.

Mr. Waller

Does my right hon. Friend agree that, despite the significance of short-term events, the record in recent years demonstrates that Iraq represents one of the best markets for our exporters? What results has he achieved through the representations that he made on behalf of British manufacturers when he visited Iraq?

Mr. Channon

I entirely agree with my hon. Friend. When the Iran-Iraq war ends, as we hope it soon will, the prospects for Iraq are extremely good, as are the prospects for British firms there. There were some difficulties over payments, but I am glad to tell the House that these are being worked out and in the future there are good prospects for exports to that country.