§ Mr. A J. Williams
asked the President of the Board of Trade what arrangements have been made for the Export Credits Guarantee Department to collaborate with credit insurers in other countries in providing cover for export contracts which involve suppliers in the United Kingdom and in another country.
§ Mr. Jay
The Export Credits Guarantee Department has been in consultation with other credit insurers in the Berne Union about the problems which arise from the increasing number of export contracts for capital and engineering goods in which the main contractor subcontracts part of the work to suppliers in other countries. Agreement has been reached between the Department and the credit insurance organisations in Belgium, Germany, the Netherlands, Sweden and Switzerland to introduce reciprocal arrangements under which the insurance provided on the credit granted by the main contractor should be extended, as a matter of course, to cover the work subcontracted in another country adhering to these arrangements where the value of the work so subcontracted does not exceed 30 per cent. of the value of the main contract. The Department is willing to enter into similar agreements with any other credit insurance organisation which is prepared to make such reciprocal arrangements.
These arrangements come into operation immediately, and I hope they will encourage United Kingdom firms to participate in international contracts, both as principals and as subcontractors.