some default text...
Previous Section Index Home Page


World Trade Organisation (TRIPs Agreement)

Ms Glenda Jackson: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what his policy is on the reform of WTO's TRIPs Agreement to improve poor people's access to essential drugs and medicines. [150969]

Dr. Howells: The Government are actively involved in helping to improve poor people's access to health care, including essential drugs. However, the TRIPs Agreement does not concern 95 per cent. of the essential drugs recommended by the World Health Organisation since they are patent free.

The TRIPs Agreement requires WTO member states to provide minimum standards of intellectual property protection, including patents, in their domestic legislation. We believe the agreement provides WTO members with sufficient flexibility to develop domestic intellectual property rights regimes that enable access to on-patent medicines, while ensuring adequate intellectual property protection to encourage investment, research and innovation, including for future medicines.

The recent White Paper "Eliminating World Poverty: Making Globalisation Work for the Poor" announced a Commission on Intellectual Property, to look at ways that intellectual property rules need to develop in the future to take greater account of the interests of developing countries and poor people.

In addition there are a range of policy ideas currently being examined as part of a Performance and Innovation Unit (PIU) study which will address the twin problems of how to improve incentives to accelerate the development and availability of effective health interventions to tackle HIV-AIDS, TB and malaria; and how to ensure that new and existing health interventions are widely affordable in developing countries.

Ms Glenda Jackson: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if he will make a statement on the implementation of the WTO's TRIPs Agreement. [150968]

Dr. Howells: The United Kingdom participated in reviews of developed country WTO Members' TRIPs implementing legislation carried out by the TRIPs Council throughout 1996 and 1997. Records of introductory statements made by the United Kingdom delegation, questions put to the United Kingdom delegation and the responses given were published by the WTO in four documents with references IP/Q/GBR/1, IP/Q2/GBR/1, IP/Q3/GBR/1 and IP/Q4/GBR/1. All of these documents are available to the public on the WTO website, www.wto.org.

Following the end in January 2000 of the transitional period for the implementation of the TRIPs Agreement by developing country WTO Members the TRIPs Council commenced reviews of those Members' implementing legislation in June 2000. In two sessions the Council has reviewed the legislation of 21 developing country Members who had volunteered for early consideration. In three further sessions during 2001 the remaining developing country Members' legislation will be reviewed.

Least developed country Members have a further transition period ending in 2006 in which to implement the terms of the TRIPs Agreement.

26 Feb 2001 : Column: 415W

Japanese Electricity Industry (MOX Fuel)

Mr. Chaytor: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry when he received a statement of intent of Japanese electricity utilities relating to the fabrication of mixed oxide fuel; and if he will place a copy of the statement in the Library. [151563]

Mr. Hain: HM Government support BNFL in its efforts to secure MOX business with Japanese electricity utilities. Such business is, however, a commercial matter for BNFL and those utilities. My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry has not received, nor given the commercial relationship of the companies would expect to receive, a statement of intent from the Japanese utilities.

Export Credits Guarantee Department

Ms Roseanna Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how many (a) short term and (b) long term projects the Export Credits Guarantee Department estimates it will underwrite in the current financial year; and what are the values of each project. [150950]

Mr. Caborn: The table summarises this information in relation to guarantees issued by ECGD in the current financial year. The table excludes business covered under the Overseas Investment Insurance which does not readily meet the criteria of the question.

2000-01 to 16 February

Value range Number of guaranteesTotal value (£ million)
Short Term
Less than £10 million3754
£10 million-£20 million343
£20 million-£30 million124
£30 million-£40 million131
£40 million-£50 million00
£50 million-£100 million00
+ £100 million00
42153
Long Term
Less than £10 million55260
£10 million-£20 million27401
£20 million-£30 million13319
£30 million-£40 million7227
£40 million-£50 million287
£50 million-£100 million3208
+ £100 million61,384
1132,886
Total for Year (excluding OII)1553,038

ECGD estimates that it will issue guarantees in support of approximately a further £1 billion of Cash and Credit business by the end of the current year but is unable to provide the detail requested, partly on grounds of commercial confidentiality and partly on grounds of uncertainty as to which business in the pipeline will be the subject of a guarantee by 31 March.

Ms Roseanna Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry which 10 countries have received the highest level of Export Credits Guarantee Department cover; and what was the value of credit attached to each country in 1999-2000. [150952]

26 Feb 2001 : Column: 416W

Mr. Caborn: The information requested, which is included in ECGD's Annual Report, is as follows:

£ million
Saudi Arabia1,000.0
Malaysia884.7
USA254.1
Turkey240.6
Oman217.7
South Africa217.6
United Arab Emirates191.4
Switzerland146.8
Taiwan130.9
Bahrain115.4

Ms Roseanna Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how many contracts that were due to be settled in (a) 1999-2000 and (b) 2000-01 for the Export Credits Guarantee Department are still outstanding; and if he will make a statement. [150949]

Mr. Caborn: ECGD estimate that the position is as follows:

YearNumber of paymentsNumber of contractsAmount (£ million)
1999-2000210105278
2000-0113970202

The majority of these payments have either been rescheduled or are eligible for rescheduling via the Paris Club.

Ms Roseanna Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how many (a) short term and (b) long term projects in (i) 1997-98, (ii) 1998-99, (iii) 1999-2000 and (iv) 2000-01 the Export Credits Guarantee Department underwrote; and what was the total value of each project in each year. [150951]

Mr. Caborn: The table provides the information requested. This information excludes business covered under the Overseas Investment Insurance which does not readily meet the criteria of the question.

FY/Value rangeNumber of guaranteesTotal value (£ million)
1997-98
Short term
Less than £10 million60174
£10 million-£20 million7107
£20 million-£30 million5117
£30 million-£40 million134
£40 million-£50 million00
£50 million-£100 million2136
£100 million+2381
Total77774
Long Term
Less than £10 million71289
£10 million-£20 million32508
£20 million-£30 million13288
£30 million-£40 million7243
£40 million-£50 million148
£50 million-£100 million6474
£100 million+3719
Total1332,568
Total for year (excluding OII)2103,341
1998-99
Short term
Less than £10 million40102
£10 million-£20 million570
£20 million-£30 million245
£30 million-£40 million3100
£40 million-£50 million00
£50 million-£100 million00
£100 million+21,580
Total521,897
Long term
Less than £10 million66295
£10 million-£20 million29391
£20 million-£30 million15358
£30 million-£40 million269
£40 million-£50 million283
£50 million-£100 million2114
£100 million+1193
Total1171,503
Total for year (excluding OII)1693,400
1999-2000
Short term
Less than £10 million2349
£10 million-£20 million228
£20 million-£30 million253
£30 million-£40 million270
£40 million-£50 million140
£50 million-£100 million3249
£100 million+51,535
Total382,024
Long Term
Less than £10 million77341
£10 million to £20 million27376
£20 million to £30 million18467
£30 million to £40 million9292
£40 million to £50 million289
£50 million to £100 million6407
£100 million+3915
Total1422,886
Total for year (excluding OII)1804,911
2000-01 year to date
Short term
Less than £10 million3754
£10 million-£20 million343
£20 million-£30 million124
£30 million-£40 million131
£40 million-£50 million00
£50 million-£100 million00
£100 million+00
Total42153
Long term
Less than £10 million55260
£10 million-£20 million27401
£20 million-£30 million13319
£30 million-£40 million7227
£40 million-£50 million287
£50 million-£100 million3208
£100 million+61,384
Total1132,886
Total for year (excluding OII)1553,038

26 Feb 2001 : Column: 417W

26 Feb 2001 : Column: 418W


Next Section Index Home Page