HC Deb 26 June 1972 vol 839 cc985-6
13. Mr. Tilney

asked the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what instructions he is giving to overseas posts as regards finding out what possible ventures of British capital, in partnership with local capital, there are that could be insured under the Overseas Investment and Export Guarantees Bill.

Mr. Noble

Overseas posts already have instructions to report information on possible joint ventures to the Department for dissemination to industry. We are examining whether anything further is necessary in this respect. Applications for investment insurance by British firms involved in such ventures will be given sympathetic consideration by ECGD.

Mr. Tilney

Is my right hon. Friend aware of the benefits to Great Britain and the developing countries of capital investment in partnership, and particularly of feasibility studies carried out by British consultants? Will he ensure that commercial diplomats do all they possibly can to extend this as much as possible?

Mr. Noble

Yes, I give my hon. Friend a categorical assurance on this point. I have discussed it with the staff at every post I have visited over the last two years, and they are well aware of the possibilities. I have also stressed the part that British consultants can play.

Mr. Douglas

Will the right hon. Gentleman comment on the current rate of interest being charged, in view of the raising of Bank rate? Will he also comment on the dislocation caused to this service by the floating of the £?

Mr. Noble

These are to some extent separate questions but, as the hon. Gentleman knows, the rate of interest charged by ECGD has come down.