HL Deb 11 February 1998 vol 585 c192WA
Baroness Gould of Potternewton

asked Her Majesty's Government:

What steps are being taken to consult exporters about the Export Credits Guarantee Department (ECGD) arrangements for providing support for capital goods and projects exports. [HL538]

Lord Clinton-Davis:

I am writing today to leading members of the exporting and financial community for their views on the current arrangements and on options for change in the future. Copies of the consultation paper are being placed in the Library of the House and are publicly available from ECGD on request. The document will also be available on the ECGD internet site.

The consultation paper reviews market development over the past five years and without seeking to prejudge the outcome asks whether changes to the UK system might now serve the interests of the exporter and the taxpayer more effectively.

I am asking for responses by 10 April so that the Government can decide on what should succeed ECGD's current Fixed Rate Export Finance (FREF) scheme, which is scheduled to expire at the end of June, and enter into the necessary negotiations.

I hope the consultation document will stimulate serious debate about the best approach for delivering this Government's objective of ensuring that UK capital goods and project exporters have access to competitive finance at acceptable public expenditure cost.