§ 44. Mr. Gerald Bowden
asked the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if he will make a statement on the latest prospects for Anglo-Soviet trade.
§ Mr. Butcher
During her visit to Moscow, the Prime Minister agreed with Soviet Prime Minister Ryzhkov to work together to achieve by 1990 a volume of 2.5 billion roubles in our bilateral trade, which would mean a 40 per cent. increase in rouble terms. A good start has been made towards this target, with contracts and letters of intent worth nearly £400 million signed during or since the visit. Officials of the Soviet Ministry of Foreign Trade are in London this week for discussions about the development of our trade. Despite the low oil price, which limits the Soviet Union's purchasing power, I believe there is now a good prospect of considerable growth in two-way trade over the next few years.