HL Deb 14 December 1987 vol 491 c591WA
Lord Molloy

asked Her Majesty's Government:

What developments there have been in trade between United Kingdom companies and the USSR following the Prime Minister's agreement during her last visit to Moscow for an expansion of such trade; why British companies are lagging behind those of West Germany, Sweden, France and Italy in this respect; and what assistance Her Majesty's Government are offering to assist British exporters to develop Anglo-Soviet trade.

Lord Young of Graffham

Trade with the USSR has not so far increased as we had hoped when the Prime Minister agreed with Mr. Ryzhkov in Moscow in March that efforts should be made to expand the aggregate level by 40 per cent. Nonetheless, Soviet exports to Britain have increased and continued efforts are being made to conclude long-running negotiations that could have a significant impact on the level of our exports to the USSR. It would certainly be premature to conclude from reports of major contracts going to other countries that none will be coming the way of British companies. Advice and assistance to companies tackling this market is available from my department, the British Overseas Trade Board, the Department of Energy, the East European Trade Council and the commercial department of the British Embassy in Moscow.