§ Mr. David Nicholson
To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what were the United Kingdom's exports to, and imports from, Vietnam in each of the past four years; and what representations he has received from(a) business organisations and (b) individual United Kingdom owned companies which are now interested in trading with Vietnam.
§ Mr. Redwood
The United Kingdom's exports to, and imports from, Vietnam in each of the past four years were:
United Kingdom Exports Imports 1985 2.0 1.7 1986 1.3 1.2 1987 2.5 0.3 1988 2.2 0.5 19891 3.2 0.5 1 January to October 1989.
A number of companies have been in touch with my Department seeking information on market conditions. In June the DTI, in association with the South East Asia Trade Advisory Group of the BOTB, organised an information seminar which was well attended. Subsequently several companies approached us for more detailed information.
Prospects for any substantial increase in trade are limited by Vietnam's acute shortage of foreign currency and the limitation of export credit insurance cover to short-term business secured by confirmed letters of credit. Until Vietnam reaches a lasting agreement with the IMF and makes tangible efforts to clear its arrears there is little prospect of ECGD reinstating medium to long-term credit insurance cover.