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Tuesday, 7 May 1957

Mr McEWEN (MURRAY, VICTORIA) (Minister for Trade) - The honorable member for Moore is touching on a very important issue, which is one that he has constantly raised with me. The Department of Trade is active in promoting new opportunities for trade in all the eastern countries. There is a very active and very large trade mission, organized by the department, which is at present, or has beer until the last few days, in India. According to the advice that I have, it has been operating with very fruitful results in the gaining of new business for Australia. New trade commissioner posts are being established. Indeed, I announced, at the week-end, the establishment of a new one at Kuala Lumpur, and a strengthening of other posts in the Far East. We recently arranged, and supported, the visit of a person with appropriate experience to the Persian Gulf area to ascertain what new trade opportunities may exist there, particularly in the new atmosphere that hat developed since the Suez Canal incident. 1 assure the honorable member that, in all these areas, the Department of Trade » highly conscious, not only of the general opportunities for new trade, but also of the particular opportunities for the export of the products of existing Western Australian industries. The Western Australian fruit and vegetable industries have a long history of exports to those markets, and I am hopeful that the markets for those product? will be expanded. Western Australian barley, like South Australian barley, goes' chiefly to Japan. There is also a genera1trade in flour, meat and live-stock fo< slaughter from Western Australia, which has natural advantages in those markets, t shall be glad to keep in touch with thehonorable member and to keep him continually informed of what i« being done in this regard.

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