17 July 2001

Q24 Alison Halford:

Would the First Minster make a statement about his recent WalesTrade International trip to South America? (OAQ12678)

The First Minister:

I made a statement to Plenary on 20 June regarding the purpose of my visit. That purpose was to accompany a WalesTrade International trade mission to Argentina and Chile, to establish formal links with the Welsh colony in Patagonia, and to exchange views with senior figures in Argentinian and Chilean politics, including Presidents de la Rua and Lagos.

When a trade mission of Welsh businesses is led by a senior Minister, the publicity surrounding the group is heightened, resulting in exporters benefiting from more doors being opened to their products and services. The feedback that I have had confirms that that was the case. The trade mission was successful, with orders won topping £56,000 and prospective orders totalling £4.2 million.

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