§ Mr. Wray
To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what assistance her Department provides to manufacturing companies in the UK to improve export levels; and if she will make a statement on the importance of(a) manufacturing exports and (b) export credit guarantees to the UK economy. 
§ Mr. Mike O'Brien
British Trade International, a joint DTI and FCO operation, provides a range of information, advice and support to enable potential and existing exporters, including manufacturers, to raise their productivity and competitiveness levels by trading internationally.
Manufacturing exports are a crucial part of the UK's prosperity. Manufacturing accounts for the majority of our exports and makes a substantial contribution to the balance of payments.
ECGD provides guarantees, insurance and reinsurance against loss to UK exporters and investors in overseas markets. During 2002/03, the total amount of business supported by ECGD was £3.5 billion.