HC Deb 23 April 1998 vol 310 c687W
Mr. Charles Clarke

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what progress has been made to set up the Commonwealth Business Council, as agreed at the Edinburgh Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting. [39840]

Mr. Tony Lloyd

The first meeting of the Commonwealth Business Council took place in London on 20 and 21 April under the chairmanship of Lord Cairns, with Mr. Cyril Ramaphosa as Vice-Chairman. It was attended by a number of leading business persons from throughout the Commonwealth. As agreed at the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting, its objective is to promote greater private sector involvement in the promotion of trade and investment, and thus prosperity, throughout the Commonwealth. The British Government were pleased to provide £250,000 towards the Council's start-up costs. We hope that other Commonwealth Governments and the private sector will also want to contribute to this most valuable initiative.