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Drug Companies (Mergers)

Dr. Cable: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what representations he has received from (a) Glaxo Wellcome, (b) SmithKline Beecham and (c) other drug companies about the proposed merger between Glaxo Wellcome and SmithKline Beecham. [106144]

Dr. Howells: This Department has received one representation on the proposed merger. It is not our policy to disclose the identity of those who make representations on cases so that interested parties may comment freely without any concern that their comments might then be disclosed. Any such representations are forwarded to the Director General of Fair Trading who will take them into account in his advice to this Department on the case.

Dr. Cable: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what consultations he has had with the Secretary of State for Health on the likely impact of the merger of SmithKline Beecham and Glaxo Wellcome on (a) the price and availability of (i) prescription and (ii) non- prescription medicines and (b) competition among health service suppliers. [106145]

Dr. Howells: The Director General of Fair Trading will consult interested parties about the proposed merger and will advise this Department on the case in due course. His advice will take into account any comments on these issues that he has received from my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Health.

Clean Coal Technology

Mr. Denis Murphy: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how much was spent by the Government in each of the last five financial years on the research and development of clean coal technology. [106934]

Mrs. Liddell: The expenditure by my Department in respect of research and development of cleaner coal technologies is shown in the table.

Year£ million


Provision for 1999-2000 is £3.7 million, and planned expenditure for 2000-01, as published in Energy Paper 67, is £4.0 million. All figures are net.

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Mr. Robathan: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry (1) what assessment he has made of the potential long-term economic benefits of supporting renewable energy sources, with particular reference to photovoltaics, on the basis of the German model; [106782]

Mrs. Liddell: I refer the hon. Gentleman to a recent assessment of the potential for renewable energy, including photovoltaics, commissioned by my Department. This has been reported in "New and Renewable Energy: Prospects in the UK for the 21st Century". "Supporting analysis, March 1999--ETSUR-122", a copy of which will be placed in the Library of the House shortly; this is also available on the Departmental website at This includes information on the potential for reducing carbon emissions and the economics of renewables.

We have not carried out any specified assessments looking at the German model, but the cost to the German taxpayer of the interest free loans being offered in support of the 100,000 roofs programme is estimated at around £300 million for an installed capacity of 300 MW. Several German cities and utilities are also offering premium rates--up to 2DM (70p) a unit--to householders exporting electricity to the grid from PV systems. These extra costs are spread over the remaining majority of electricity consumers in those areas.

Regional Assistance

Mr. Wigley: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what advice his Department gives to those businesses in areas which have ceased to be eligible for regional assistance since 1 January. [106515]

Mr. Caborn: Financial assistance to industry outside England is a matter for the devolved administrations. In England, we have given advice that while discussions continue with the Commission over the new Assisted Areas map, Government Offices will, as a temporary measure, continue to receive applications for RSA from businesses located in the Assisted Areas proposed in July 1999. Government Offices will undertake a full appraisal of such cases but any offers of financial assistance will be conditional on confirmation from the Commission that the location is within the approved map and that the project complies with the appropriate aid ceilings for that area. Similar arrangements are in place in Wales and Scotland. Any area which is outside the Assisted Areas when the map is approved will not be eligible for RSA under Community law. However, in the English regions we have introduced new tier 3 areas which include areas of need outside the Assisted Areas proposed to the Commission. In tier 3, qualifying SMEs may apply for financial assistance from a new discretionary Enterprise Grant scheme.

Export Credits Guarantee Department

Dr. Cable: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if he will estimate the public expenditure on the ECGD's business for (a) 1998-99, (b) 1999-2000,

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(c) 2000-01 and (d) 2001-02, (i) in aggregate, (ii) with highly indebted land mine developing countries and (iii) related to defence. [105418]

Mr. Caborn: Aggregate public expenditure on ECGD operations is estimated as:

Year£ million

(27) Outturn

These public expenditure estimates relate to a number of financial facilities which ECGD provides in support of its main trading operations. The vast majority of the amounts relate to the refinancing with public funds of export finance loans and will be repaid as the loans mature. The balance is accounted for by the cost of interest rate support to banks under ECGD's Fixed Rate Export Finance (FREF) Scheme.

Costs arising from these public expenditure facilities are not estimated or recorded on a basis which allows them to be broken down by country or industrial sector. Fuller details of these facilities can however be found in ECGD's Annual Report and Trading Accounts for 1998-99 of which there is a copy in the Library of the House.

ECGD's main trading operations are not scored against public expenditure since ECGD looks to cover the cost of claims arising from this business through premium and recoveries of claims paid.

Dr. Cable: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if he will list the (a) countries and (b) bodies which have bought arms from the United Kingdom in the last five years under the export credits guarantee scheme and defaulted on their payments, indicating the amounts involved in each case. [105337]

Mr. Caborn: The only defence business covered by ECGD in the last five years where the country has subsequently defaulted was with Indonesia. The value of defence business in the last five years to Indonesia is £529 million and the current value of the defaults on this business is £55.9 million.

Dr. Cable: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if he will make a statement on the estimate prepared for the Defence Committee concerning annual ECGD net costs attributable to arms exports. [105338]

Mr. Caborn: I refer the hon. Member to the response by my hon. Friend the Minister for Defence Procurement on behalf of the Government to the House of Commons Defence Commitment's Report of 31 March 1999. This welcomed the Committee's invitation to the Ministry of Defence to undertake further work on the costs and benefits to the UK economy of defence exports. This analysis, which will include ECGD costs, is under way and the results will be published in due course.

Ann Clwyd: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what support the Export Credits Guarantees Department has given for Land Rover to establish a licensed production agreement with Otakar in Turkey; and if ECGD support contained (a) export control and (b) human rights criteria. [104159]

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Mr. Caborn: In March 1998 ECGD finally concluded financing arrangements through the Supplier Credit Facility in relation to Land Rover's supply to Otakar in Turkey. The financing arrangements, inter alia, include a specific condition that Land Rover has to provide a warranty that all relevant government approvals including export licences where appropriate have been obtained and remain valid.

Production equipment and technology, components and sub-assemblies whose export from the UK is subject to control are set out in a range of headings in the Export of Goods (Control) Order 1994, as amended, and the Dual- Use and Related Goods (Export Control) Regulations 1996, as amended and Council decision 94/942/CFSP, as amended (which has effect through Council Regulation (EC) 3381/94). While a valid export licence is needed for the export of controlled goods or technology, exporters are not required to obtain one before they conclude an agreement for production overseas.

Mr. Flynn: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what proportion of the sum paid out in claims authorised by the Export Credits Guarantee Department on exports to Nigeria between 1996-97 and 1998-99 was for defence-related exports. [105930]

Mr. Caborn [holding answer 24 January 2000]: None of the claims authorised between 1996-97 and 1998-99 were for defence-related exports.

Mr. Flynn: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what amount of money underwritten by the Export Credits Guarantee Department in each of the past 10 years for defence-related equipment has been claimed by manufacturers but not recovered from (a) Indonesia, (b) Jordan, (c) Kenya, (d) Egypt and (e) Algeria. [105935]

Mr. Caborn [holding answer 24 January 2000]: From information readily available, the balances of claims outstanding for defence-related exports are as follows:

£ million

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