Select Committee on Foreign Affairs Appendices to the Minutes of Evidence - Sixth Report


Memorandum submitted by British American Tobacco

  In reference to your letter of 18 January 1999, I am happy to advise you on the following:

  British American Tobacco, one of the leading cigarette manufacturers in the world, has substantial business interests in the area of Central Asia and Caucasus.

  Primarily they are concentrated in Uzbekistan, where we have invested USD 300 million. Specifically, we have built a state-of-the-art factory in the city of Samarkand where we manufacture cigarettes both for the domestic market and for exports to the wider region.

  In other countries you have mentioned, our business is mostly limited to imports. In these countries we have representative offices.

  We are happy with FCO's assistance to our business in Uzbekistan. In fact, we would like to compliment the Foreign Office on having a wonderful ambassador in that country—Ms Barbara Hay.

  She is very active in promoting British business interests.

  On a number of occasions the Ambassador has helped us in raising serious issues relating to our investment with the Uzbek Government, including the President. She has also been instrumental in facilitating meetings with important Uzbek officials.

  As to the other countries of the area, our representatives on the ground regularly liaise with the respective Embassies, receive invitations to functions etc. However, we would be happy to see more proactive support to and promotion of British business interests.

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