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Tuesday, 23 May 1972
Page: 2864

Mr DRURY (RYAN, QUEENSLAND) - My question is directed to the Minister for Trade and Industry. I ask the Minister whether the further diversification of Australian trade is proceeding satisfactorily in anticipation of Britain's entry to the European Economic Community.

Mr ANTHONY - There has been a very successful programme in operation to diversify our trade away from the United Kingdom. Back in 1958-59 about 32 per cent of Australia's total exports went to the United Kingdom. For the year just concluded, 11 per cent of our trade went to that market. This has been due to wideranging government programmes to promote other markets in the world. Our biggest market today is Japan. In 1966 Japan overtook the United Kingdom as our principal market. However, we have been anxious not to concentrate solely on that market, but to seek markets elsewhere. By means of trade missions and promotion we have managed to' gain access to many markets around the world. I believe that my recent trip to South America, which included visits tn Chile, Peru, Argentina, Brazil and Mexico, will this year show very substantantially increased sales in all those markets, which offer great opportunities for the future. Already we are making very good sales of wheat and meat to places like Chile and also we are doing well in our sales of heavy engineering equipment. Only last week VVabco Australia Pty Ltd, a very big manufacturer of earth moving machinery, gained a contract to supply heavy ore carriers worth $6.5m to Chile against competition from North America, Japan and Germany. VVabco sold the largest ore carrying vehicle made in the world. It says something for Australian industry when it can go out and win markets like that. All round, our trade promo tion campaign, in seeking to diversify away from the United Kingdom, is working satisfactorily.

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