HC Deb 16 November 1998 vol 319 cc433-4W
Ms Ruddock

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if he will make a statement about the support available from his Department to assist United Kingdom businesses participating in overseas trade fairs and seminars; and which trade fairs, seminars and outward missions his Department will support in the year 1 April 1999 to 31 March 2000. [60317]

Mr. Mandelson

On 16 December 1997 and 25 March 1998 the then Minister for Trade announced details of the new Support for Exhibitions and Seminars Abroad scheme (SESA) for all events taking place from 1 April 1999. The scheme is based on wide consultation with business and recommendations of the Export Forum and its main features includea combined scheme covering both trade fairs and seminars, assistance for new exporters to become established in markets abroad, help for smaller groups in niche sectors and difficult markets, and help for experienced exporters entering new target markets.

The simplified grant structure has a ceiling of £2,300 per participant with an additional supplement for those taking part in events in the emerging target markets identified by the Export Forum.

A copy of an Overview of the SESA scheme will be placed in the Library of the House.

My hon. Friend the Minister for Trade announced on 12 October our programme for supporting trade fairs and seminars abroad, and outward missions. I will place lists of the events in the Library of the House. Organisations that bid for support have already been informed.