§ 5. Mr. Blaker
asked the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry whether he discussed with the Japanese Government during his recent visit to Japan its scheme of generalised preferences in relation to Hong Kong; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mr. John Davies
Yes Sir. I emphasised to Japanese Ministers Her Majesty's Government's concern at the limited nature of the Japanese generalised preference arrangements for Hong Kong. They undertook to consider the points I raised.
§ Mr. Blaker
I am grateful to my right hon. Friend for that reply. Is it not difficult to see what advantage there is for Japan making the present exceptions to its scheme of generalised preferences to Hong Kong? Is it not possible that a likely result would be simply to transfer to other developing countries in Asia which are the closest competitors of Hong Kong the trade in those items in which Hong Kong has an interest?
§ Mr. Davies
Yes. I believe there is a strong element of that. It seemed that 977 the very comprehensive and wide-ranging lists of exclusions from the generalised preference scheme seemed at times irrational even from the Japanese point of view, and this point I naturally brought forcefully home to Ministers concerned. We are awaiting their reply to the submission that Her Majesty's Government have made to the Japanese Government on this subject, reinforced by what I said.