§ Mrs. Gorman
To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what is his assessment of the impact of the recent reforms of property rights in the Soviet Union on joint ventures between firms in the United Kingdom and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics.
§ Mr. Redwood
The new law on property ownership in the Soviet Union, which is due to come into force on 1 July, opens up the possibility of foreign ownership of Soviet enterprises, either independently or through joint ventures. This will, however, be subject to further legislation, currently in draft and not expected to be published before next year, which will consolidate and revise the law on the general status of foreign ownership in the Soviet Union.
In principle, this will help British companies to invest in the Soviet Union, by putting such investments into a proper legal framework. Business will also need to weigh other risk factors, including hard currency, which will still make it difficult to repatriate profits earned in the Soviet market.