East Midlands (Exports)

Oral Answers to Questions — Trade and Industry – in the House of Commons at 2:15 pm on 14th June 1995.

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Photo of Edward Garnier Edward Garnier , Harborough 2:15 pm, 14th June 1995

To ask the President of the Board of Trade what his Department is doing to promote exports from the east midlands. [26805]

Photo of Mr Richard Needham Mr Richard Needham , North Wiltshire

My Department provides an increasingly comprehensive range of services to all sectors of industry in the east midlands. The improved services are delivered more and more through the rapidly expanding network of business links.

Photo of Edward Garnier Edward Garnier , Harborough

Is my right hon. Friend aware that the business link office in Market Harborough, which has been up and running since January, has already achieved great things for exporters in the east midlands? Would he care to comment on co-operation between his Department and the Foreign Office to achieve even greater exports, not just from my constituency but from the whole country?

Photo of Mr Richard Needham Mr Richard Needham , North Wiltshire

My hon. and learned Friend is absolutely right to draw attention to the success of the business links and to the Government's export strategy. We recently announced in the competitiveness White Paper that we shall have 30,000 more companies exporting by the year 2000. We are finding £40 million worth of additional funding; we are holding more exhibitions and conducting more missions; there are more posts and more professional, better trained staff. We have more business links, more co-operation between business and Government, more information technology and more exports. The only thing that could possibly ruin it all would be the Labour party.

Photo of Paddy Tipping Paddy Tipping , Sherwood

Is the Minister aware of the participation today of civic leaders from the east midlands in promoting their document, "Give Us A Sporting Chance"? Will he look closely at that document, which sets out a number of recommendations for promoting the textile and clothing industry, especially its desire to export more?