HL Deb 15 May 1986 vol 474 cc1274-5

3.18 p.m.

Lord Gainford

My Lords, I beg leave to ask the Question standing in my name on the Order Paper.

The Question was as follows:

To ask Her Majesty's Government what are the prospects for improved Anglo-Spanish trade in the light of King Juan Carlos' historic visit.

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Trade and Industry (Lord Lucas of Chilworth)

My Lords, the very successful Royal visit last month focused British attention on Spain at an important point in the development of Anglo-Spanish trade relations. Her Majesty's Government expect the recent growth in our trade with Spain to accelerate as trade barriers between the two countries are reduced over the next seven years.

Lord Gainford

My Lords, I thank my noble friend the Minister for that Answer. Does he have any information on the prospects for this country's export trade in cars?

Lord Lucas of Chilworth

My Lords, United Kingdom car exporters will benefit from the immediate reduction in Spanish tariffs and their phasing out over the next seven years, with half the reduction in the next three years. They will benefit also from the introduction of VAT in Spain which removes elements of discrimination against imported cars. Additionally, Spain has increased the reduced duty quota for EC cars.

Lord Somers

My Lords, does not the noble Lord agree that one of the most important aspects in accelerating this trade is to produce goods that appeal to the Spanish love of high quality?

Lord Lucas of Chilworth

My Lords, indeed, the noble Lord, Lord Somers, is quite correct, and of course that argument prevails elsewhere in the world.

Lord Ezra

My Lords, can the noble Lord indicate whether in view of the auspicious occasion of Spain joining the European Community the British Overseas Trade Board is mounting any special initiative in the Spanish market?

Lord Lucas of Chilworth

My Lords, the British Overseas Trade Board had nine separate missions, seminars or conferences in Spain during 1985. There were 30 seminars in the United Kingdom, advising about 1,500 potential exporters of the opportunities, and the work continues into 1986.