§ Mr. Powell
asked the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland if he will make a statement on the outcome of the recent visit of a Northern Ireland Minister to Saudi Arabia.
§ Mr. Concannon
I visited Saudi Arabia on 8th and 9th February in conjunction with a Northern Ireland trade mission to that market. In the course of my visit I had discussions with the Saudi Minister of Commerce, the Saudi Minister of Industry and Electricity, the Secretary General of the Royal Commission for Yanbu and Jubail and the President of the Riyadh Chamber of Commerce. I also gave interviews to the Saudi Press and visited a dairy farm project being undertaken by a Northern Ireland firm.
The objective of my visit was to give support to the members of the trade mission and to make contacts at a high level with Saudi Government Departments and other influential bodies. Some very good contacts have been made and it is hoped to build on those. While some of the mission members are already reporting 860W encouraging business prospects, the real benefits of the mission can only be reaped in the longer term.