I laid stress at the beginning of my speech on our improved export performance. We need to build on this and not become complacent. Strong export growth will be essential if healthy recovery is to be sustained.
My right hon. Friend the President of the Board of Trade and I have taken a closer look at the services provided by the Export Credits Guarantee Department. We have agreed that a reduction in premiums of around 10 per cent. on average is possible while still protecting taxpayers' interests. This will improve our competitiveness, building on the premium reductions in the past two years.
Furthermore, we have agreed to increase the amount of ECGD cover available to many important developing markets by £300 million for 1997–98. Those measures will provide an added incentive for British exporters to play an even greater role in the most successful and rapidly growing economies in the world.