HC Deb 24 July 1973 vol 860 cc386-7W
Mr. Skeet

asked the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if he is able to make any further statement on the progress of British trade with China.

Mr. Peter Walker

Our trade relations with China have been developing well since my visit to Peking and the British Industrial Exhibition at the end of March. Our exports to China have almost trebled in the first six months of 1973—£36–3 million compared with £12.2 million—and our exports now cover a much wider spread of goods.

The British Exhibition was a great success. Negotiations have been opened for over 50 contracts in addition to those contracts signed during the Exhibition.

My Department and the British Overseas Trade Board are taking further positive steps to encourage trade with China. In particular, we have sent to the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Trade firm proposals for a comprehensive programme of outward and inward missions covering a wide field of advanced technology and heavy industry. We hope to have the views of the Chinese Government on these proposals very shortly.