Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Bank Holding Firm Sponsoring Trade Mission to Soviet Union

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Bank Holding Firm Sponsoring Trade Mission to Soviet Union

Article excerpt

An August trade mission to the Soviet Union is being sponsored by Banks of Mid-America of Oklahoma City, parent of Liberty National Bank and Trust Co. and the First National Bank and Trust Co. in Tulsa, the firm announced Wednesday.

Willis Wheat, senior vice president of the holding company, said Banks of Mid-America is making the arrangements primarily to seek new business for Oklahoma firms.

The mission - called the Mid-America U.S.S.R. Trade Mission - will depart Aug. 29 and return Sept. 9. Banks of Mid-America is in contact with the Soviet Trade Councils, Wheat said, and will furnish them with the names of the American people and products represented on the trip.

"The Soviet Trade Councils are the group that interacts with anyone wanting to do business with the Soviets," he said. "They, in turn, will get together the officials these people need to talk to."

Wheat, who said he was the "energizer" behind the trip, said he visited the U.S.S.R. last October after reading about a successful trip by the Oklahoma Wheat Commission during August.

Talking with people in Moscow and Leningrad, he said he was struck by what seemed to be a much-improved attitude by the citizens toward western countries.

The positive atmosphere preceded the Geneva Summit in November, where President Reagan pledged that the United States and the Soviet Union would develop trade and economic ties, Wheat said. In December, the U.S. and U.S.S.R. Trade and Economic Council met in Moscow and encouraged American business leaders to find ways of connecting to the ongoing summit process in order to reduce obstacles inthe way of expanded non-military trade, he added.

Along with manufacturing, Wheat said the Soviets are interested in further developing energy sources and increasing their efficiency. Medical equipment and medical applications, in addition to food processing techniques, also have potential in the U. …

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