HC Deb 21 June 1993 vol 227 c8
7. Mr. Fabricant

To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what action he is taking to improve bilateral trade between businesses based in Wales and those in Canada.

Mr. Redwood

My right hon. Friend the Minister of State will lead a trade mission to north America from 14 to 28 September, when he will visit Vancouver and Toronto in Canada.

Mr. Fabricant

Will my right hon. Friend confirm that a bilateral trade agreement exists between the United Kingdom and Ontario? Is that not especially appropriate, given the many Canadian companies that invest in Wales? Does my right hon. Friend agree that that investment is not only because of our non-signing of the social chapter, and not only because of our low inflation, our low interest rates and our low taxes, but because of excellent industrial relations in Wales and because of the very special skills in Wales in audio-electronics?

Mr. Redwood

My hon. Friend has been a more eloquent advocate of Wales than Opposition Members have been today. That is a great pity; we should like to hear more from them in defence of Wales as a place for investment. My hon. Friend is right. There is a trade agreement, and we think that it is important to develop ever better relationships with Canada, not least because there are 2,500 employees in 12 companies from Ontario that already operate in Wales.