HL Deb 19 June 1991 vol 530 cc17-8WA
Lord Gainford

asked Her Majesty's Government:

When they next expect to meet the Minister for Trade of the Republic of Korea to discuss trade policy.

The Earl of Caithness

My right honourable friend the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry will discuss a range of trade issues with Dr. Lee Bong-suh during his visit to Britain this week. British companies are keen to trade with Korea but there are problems, particularly over free and fair access to Korean markets. Exporters of consumer goods are faced with a wide range of hindrances, including high and discriminatory fiscal barriers. This applies particularly to Scotch whisky. Foreign securities houses applying for licences are subject to excessive capital requirements, and Korea has not granted the Community's request for similar intellectual property protection to that given to the United States.

We understand from the Commission that when Vice President Andriessen visited Korea recently, President Roh expressed to him the firm conviction that a solution would soon be found to the intellectual property problem. We shall remain in close touch with the Commission about the need to ensure that the Koreans live up to this. We also hope there will be rapid progress in the other areas outlined above.