§ Mrs. McKay
asked the President of the Board of Trade if, in view of the fact that the export programmes of other nations trading in the Middle East are advancing more rapidly than those of the United Kingdom, he will take steps to strengthen the United Kingdom trading position in that area.
§ Mr. Jay
Yes, I am already doing this. The Committee for Middle East Trade, one of the area committees of the British National Export Council, is carrying out a programme for promoting our trade with this area in the light of its researches into the goods and markets which offer the best prospects for British exports. Its predecessor, the Council for Middle East Trade, published a number of reports of the special missions which it sent out to Middle East countries; these and a208W booklet on "Trading in the Arab World" published by the Board of Trade contain a great deal of information useful to exporters. In the preface to the latter, I drew attention to the need for British businessmen to make more visits to these rapidly growing markets, where personal contacts count for much and many of which are able, with their large and increasing incomes from oil, to hasten their economic development and improve their living standards.
All the facilities offered by the Board of Trade, the British National Export Council and our commercial officers overseas are available to help exporters develop their business in this area. Better terms for the Export Credits Guarantee Department's cover for exports to some of these markets—Saudi Arabia, Lebanon and the Persian Gulf States—have recently been announced.