HC Deb 12 November 1964 vol 701 cc104-5W
Mr. Hector Hughes

asked the President of the Board of Trade what invitation he extended, during his recent visit to China, to representatives of trade and industry in China to visit Great Britain; and what reply he received.

Mr. Jay

During my visit to China, I extended invitations to the Minister of Foreign Trade and to the Chairman of the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade, to visit Britain as guests of Her Majesty's Government. No replies have yet been received to these invitations. I also confirmed invitations previously given to the Head of the Western European Department of the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Trade and to the directors of three State Trading Corporations. These latter invitations have been accepted in principle, though precise dates for the visits have not yet been fixed.

Mr. A. Lewis

asked the President of the Board of Trade whether he will make a statement on his recent visit to the British Trade Fair in Peking; what action he proposes to take to increase trade between China and Great Britain; and whether this will include the introduction of long-term credits and an alteration in the strategic embargo list.

Mr. Jay

At the invitation of the Government of the People's Republic of China, I recently spent five days in that country during which time I opened the British Industrial Exhibition in Peking on 2nd November. While I was in Peking I had general discussions on trade matters with the Chinese authorities, and in these discussions I emphasised that it is Her Majesty's Government's policy to encourage the expansion of peaceful trade with China.

The Chinese authorities raised the matter of the strategic embargo, but I am satisfied that this constitutes no major obstacle to the development of our trade with China. The list of goods subject to embargo is constantly under review with our COCOM partners.

As to long-term credits, the Chinese authorities are aware that Financial Guarantee facilities are in principle available for the Chinese market, as they are for all other markets for which E.C.G.D. cover is available.