HC Deb 30 March 1999 vol 328 cc574-5W
Mr. Baldry

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what steps he has taken to increase(a) awareness and (b) take-up of the Export Marketing Research Scheme; and what funding has been made available for the (i) current and (ii) next financial year. [78431]

Mr. Wilson

The Scheme's budget for the current financial year is £1,195,000. £1,550,000 has been allocated for 1999–2000. My officials and the Scheme's contractor (British Chambers of Commerce) have drawn up and are implementing a comprehensive action plan to increase awareness and take-up of the Scheme. This includes:

Direct mail to eligible companies of more than 20 employees

8,000 letters sent out; 400 have contacted BCC asking for additional information and 18 applications have been received to date

The placing of editorial material in relevant publications

Ensuring presence at organised events and speaking at export clubs

EMRS was represented at 28 events (exhibitions, seminars etc) in 1998

An Internet presence:


Staging regional "Showcase" events for companies

10 showcases presented to 285 companies; 19 applications have arisen

The publication of a regular EMRS Newsletter which is distributed to over 3000 past and prospective customers as well as intermediaries.

Steps are also being taken to refresh intermediaries' knowledge of the scheme through:

3 half day showcases held in 1998 completing national coverage for intermediaries and export advisers (52 attended)

4 two-day training courses in export marketing research specifically tailored to the business advisers (50 attended)

Direct mail to 300 trade associations. BCC are currently discussing projects with 20 different trade associations.

Mr. Baldry

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if he proposes to continue support from his Department for the Languages for Export Advisory Scheme. [78432]

Mr. Wilson

The Languages for Export Advisory Scheme is currently being reviewed as part of the normal evaluation programme for DTI schemes. The Chief Executive and board of British Trade International will consider the future of the Scheme after the review is completed.