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Dr. Cable: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if she will make a statement on the Government's policy on the provision of export credits for military equipment. 
Ms Hewitt: Export credits for the sale of all goods and technology controlled for strategic reasons are subject to an export licence being issued by the Department of Trade and Industry's Export Control Organisation. All export licence applications are scrutinised rigorously and considered on a case-by-case basis against the Consolidated EU and national arms export licensing criteria.
Export credit support for defence sales to 63 of the poorest developing countries is not generally available. New export credits extended by ECGD to these countries have been restricted to "productive expenditure" that would benefit economic and social development. The OECD Statement of Principles on Official Export Credit Support to Heavily Indebted Poor Countries limits the productive expenditure criteria to the 41 HIPC's.
Dr. Cable: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what were the outstanding amounts of ECGD guarantees in respect of defence equipment broken down by country for the financial years (a) 19992000 and (b) 200001. 
Ms Hewitt: The breakdown of the amount outstanding at the close of each of the financial years on ECGD guarantees for defence equipment and services was as follows:
|Financial year 19992000|
|Iran, Islamic Republic of||1.3|
|Korea, Republic of||68.9|
|United Arab Emirates||2.2|
4 Dec 2001 : Column 146W
|Financial year 200001|
|Iran, Islamic Republic of||1.3|
|Korea, Republic of||57.4|
|United Arab Emirates||1.3|
Amount outstanding includes future maturities plus unrecovered claims.
Mr. Chope: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if she will respond to the recommendation of the National Audit Office (HC329) that small business panels should be set up to give feedback on regulatory proposals; and if she will make a statement. 
Nigel Griffiths: I welcome the NAO report and its recommendations as they relate to the Small Business Service. The SBS is already taking action to meet the recommendations of the report as they relate to the SBS, including the use of small business panels such as focus group in order to consult small businesses on regulatory proposals.
Mr. Michael Foster: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what estimate she has made of the number of people employed in manufacturing industry in (a) Worcestershire and (b) Herefordshire. 
4 Dec 2001 : Column 147W
Alan Johnson: The DfES Labour Force SurveyAugust 2001 indicated that:
Dr. Gibson: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry (1) what role the Minister of Science will play in the new structures within her Department; 
(3) what role a Director General of Science, Technology and Innovation will play in directing blue skies research; and if she will make a statement; 
(4) what plans she has for the role of the Director General Research Councils. 
Ms Hewitt: The responsibilities of the Office of Science and Technology (OST), which are cross- Government, will remain largely unchanged. The new Director General of Science, Technology and Innovation in the DTI will work closely with the Director General of Research Councils and with the Government's Chief Scientific Adviser and Head of the OST to integrate the Department's policy-making on science, technology and innovation with its productivity agenda.
One of the new Director General of Science Technology and Innovation's key objectives will be to maximise the Government's significant investment in science by providing a stronger focus on technology transfer within my Department. He or she will be recruited from outside the Department and will work with the Minister for Science and Innovation in carrying out their functions.
Dr. Gibson: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry when she will appoint the new Director of Science, Technology and Innovation. 
Ms Hewitt: This post has been created as an outcome of the review of my Department, the conclusions of which I announced on 22 November 2001, Official Report, column 396W. The post will be filled by an external open competition. I would expect the appointment to be made in spring 2002.
Mr. Hoyle: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry when the outcome of the second stage of the Quinquennial Review of the six grant-awarding research councils will be announced; and what its principal conclusions are. 
Ms Hewitt: I am pleased today to announce the outcome of the second stage of the Quinquennial Review of the six grant-awarding Research Councils. I shall be placing a copy of the stage 2 report in the Libraries of both Houses.
4 Dec 2001 : Column 148W
Quinquennial reviews are conducted in two stages. I announced the outcome of stage 1 on 19 July. It concluded that the six grant-awarding Research Councils should continue to be executive non-departmental public bodies.
I welcome the thrust of the stage 2 report and its recommendations and accept the review's main conclusions that:
to deal with the increasing pace of scientific change and complexity of national and international arrangements, the Councils need to be capable of acting and speaking as one, and of promoting new and increasingly multidisciplinary science;
they also need to do business with their key stakeholders in more convergent ways and in line with modernising Government principles;
there should be a new strategy group comprising the Council chief executives and the Director General of the Research Councils to achieve these aims, and to provide a framework for cross-Council working at all levels;
with a clearer identity and mission, the Councils as a group will be able to develop closer links with the other major science funders, including the Funding Councils, Government Departments and the major charities;
they will also be able to work more closely with other key stakeholders, including the universities and the business and public service organisations which use their research and trained people;
to capitalise on these stronger relationships and closer working, and to ensure delivery of key objectives, the Research Councils and DTI need to develop a stronger strategic framework for science and a long term strategic 'road map' towards which the full range of players in science can direct their efforts.
I am grateful to all those who contributed to this Quinquennial Review, in particular the members of the review steering group, working groups, and Research Council staff.
Mr. Hoyle: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry when she plans to publish the UK Online annual report 2001. 
Ms Hewitt: The second UK online annual report has been published today, and copies have been placed in the House Libraries.
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