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1993 - Mr Major’s Comments on the Saudi Arabia Visit

Below is the text of Mr Major’s comments on his Saudi Arabia visit, held during an interview on board a flight back to London on Friday 29th January 1993.


QUESTION:

[The Prime Minister was asked about the important of the Saudi Arabia deal].

PRIME MINISTER:

The Saudi Arabia deal is very important of course, it secures 19,000 jobs and is part of a continuing relationship we have had with the Saudis for many years, a very good relationship.

QUESTION:

[Mr Major was asked about the poor trade figures].

PRIME MINISTER:

What is going to improve the trade figures? What will improve the trade figures is the fact that British industry is competitive, that British industry is exporting, and everywhere that I have been on this trip, whether it was in India, whether it was in Oman, whether it was in Saudi Arabia, they had several clear cut messages, British industry is now hugely competitive, British businessmen have now realised they do not sell their goods by sitting in the United Kingdom, they go abroad and display their wares. There is a tremendous opportunity and if we are going to take that opportunity, the lowest interest rates in Europe, a very low inflation rate, a hugely competitive exchange rate, businessmen with the assistance of government have got to go and sell the best of British abroad, that is what I have been doing, it is what I will go on doing and it is what I want British business to do.

QUESTION:

[Mr Major was asked if he intended on going on more similar trips in the future].

PRIME MINISTER:

Yes, there will be more of these trips, there will be many trips of course that will be purely political or diplomatic, but of course, where appropriate I will take businessmen with me.