Letter: Peaceful bazaar

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Sir: Your statement that "tomorrow the President of the Board of Trade opens what amounts to an arms bazaar for South Africa" (leading article, 26 May) is a complete travesty. What I am actually doing is launching a campaign promoting a range of sectors, of which arms is not one - as your own news report makes clear.

South Africa's economy can only benefit from an increase in two-way trade and investment, which is what this campaign is designed to achieve. A particular element in the campaign will be the use of the new information technology to help to develop the emerging small- and medium-sized business sector in South Africa.

MARGARET BECKETT

President of the Board of Trade

Department of Trade and Industry

London SW1

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