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Ms Hewitt: The Government are opposed to the use of trade sanctions to enforce labour standards and believes that the setting and monitoring of labour standards are matters to be dealt with by the International Labour Organisation (ILO).
The Government strongly support the ILO Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work, which reaffirms the commitment of all ILO member states to respect, promote and implement fundamental labour standards, including the abolition of child labour. The UK has ratified ILO Conventions 138 (Minimum Age) and 182 (Worst Forms of Child Labour), and supports the ILO's International Programme on Elimination of Child Labour (IPEC).
Mr. Chaytor: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what budget she has allocated for 200203 to implement the G8 agreement on assistance to the Russian Federation with nuclear security and decommissioning. 
Mr. Wilson: The Government initiated a £84 million programme to address the nuclear legacy in the Former Soviet Union in April 2001, and the budget for 200203 is £27.4 million. The programme is expected to support a wide range of nuclear legacy issues across the Former Soviet Union with much of the work undertaken in Russia associated with the decommissioning of nuclear submarines, plutonium disposition and the development of Non-weapons related employment in closed nuclear cities.
Mr. Chaytor: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how much financial support was granted to the Russian Federation for nuclear security and decommissioning, broken down by title of each individual project supported in each of the last 10 years; and if she will make a statement. 
Mr. Wilson: I refer my hon. Friend to the answer I gave my hon. Friend the Member for Newcastle upon Tyne, Central (Mr. Cousins) on 8 March 2002, Official Report, column 588W, in which I provided information
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on Government expenditure on decommissioning of nuclear installations and equipment in the Former Soviet Union.
The UK has provided support to countries of the Former Soviet Union through a Health and Safety Programme and the 'Nuclear Safety Programme' since the mid 1990s. However, there has been only one UK funded Russian Federation project associated with the decommissioning of RBMK reactors. This was in 199798 and UK contribution was (£30,000). There is a further £66,000 decommissioning project concerned with reactor sealing at the Beloyarsk nuclear power plant of units but absence of a legal agreement covering liabilities, site access and tax issues which we are negotiating with the Russian Authorities is delaying its start up.
On security, the UK has assisted with the provision of a physical protection system for the icebreaker 'Sevmorput' in the Murmansk Shipping Company's atomic fleet. This was in 200102 and total cost to UK was £458K.
The UK (DTI) has also funded a range of activities with the Russian Federation both to help improve understanding of nuclear safeguards generally and also to improve arrangements for nuclear materials accountancy at specific Russian facilities. The programme has included nuclear safeguards and materials accountancy seminars and training courses for Russian regulators and facility operators (approximately £550k since 1993), and co-operative projects to improve nuclear materials accountancy arrangements at the Mayak RT-1 reprocessing plant (approximately £500k since 1994) and the Angarsk enrichment plant (approximately £110k since 1998).
Alan Johnson: I refer the hon. Member to the reply given by my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry on 11 July 2002 to my hon. Friend the Member for Gloucester (Mr. Dhanda), which announced a review of the operation of the Employment Relations Act 1999. The terms of reference of the review and a schedule describing the Act have been placed in the Libraries of the House.
Dr. Cable: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how many businesses have received advice from the National Business Debtline; if the pilot project will be extended beyond three years; and if she will make a statement. 
Nigel Griffiths: At the end of business on Friday 12 July 2002 the Business Debtline had answered calls from 11,008 different businesses since the pilot started. Approximately 1920 per cent. of the callers ring on more than one occasion and this is not reflected in the 11,008 calls referred to above.
The project will be evaluated in the coming months and a decision will be made in the light of the results of the evaluation and in conjunction with the banks, who are our partners in this, as to whether it will be extended beyond three years.
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Dr. Cable: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what the costs were of the survey, in October 2001, to measure the success of the advertising campaign in the autumn regarding the Business Link brand. 
The tracking research measured a number of factors before and after the campaign to assess the impact of the advertising activity. These included: awareness of Business Link; claimed source of awareness; recognition of the national Business Link advertising; and usage of Business Link.
Ms Hewitt: The Business Link 'U' has been established for the Small Business Service (SBS), Business Link Operators (BLO) and partners, fulfilling the 2001 Small Business Manifesto commitment to "Create a Business University for Business Support". The 'U' is the world's first virtual corporate university for business development professionals.
five initial faculties have been set up (core, customer facing, leadership, marketing and business development);
learning needs analyses have been conducted for business advisers;
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Nigel Griffiths: We have received no recent representations regarding the encouragement of venture capital. However, the Government fully recognise the importance of the venture capital industry to the UK economy and, since coming to office, has taken a number of measures aimed at creating an economic environment in which it can flourish. We have also been working closely with venture capital firms on programmes such as Regional Venture Capital Funds, the UK High Technology Fund and the Community Development Venture Fund. This has involved regular contacts with representatives of the venture capital industry at both ministerial and official level.
Ms Hewitt [holding answer 15 July 2002]: For the financial year 200001, 1.2 per cent. of ECGD business issued/underwritten during the year was in respect of environmental technology projects or investments. This figure rose to 7.2 per cent. in 200102, a five-fold increase on the previous year.
Ms Hewitt: Earlier this year on 7 February 2002, Official Report, column 1074W, I told the House that ECGD would give priority to its business and systems in order to make itself ready for establishment as a capitalised Trading Fund, my preferred option for its future operation. Work has now progressed sufficiently for me to confirm that ECGD will become a Trading Fund.
In making this commitment, I am conscious of the need for ECGD to complement market provision of export insurance and guarantees. As a result, ECGD should do more to stimulate the private market and develop new ways of working with them to benefit the UK economy by supporting UK exporters and investors in overseas markets.
ECGD will have greater operational autonomy as a Trading Fund. This will offer an improved service to customers, who have expressed concern during the programme of work, about ECGD's ability to provide adequate levels of support to exporters. Customers can expect greater clarity and certainty as to the levels of ECGD's support. I have also asked ECGD to improve its customer care for new customers and make it easier for them to access its support.
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(NERA) to quantify the net benefits to the UK economy of ECGD's operations will be published in due course.
My right hon. Friend the Chief Secretary to the Treasurywho has been closely involved with this whole processand I have jointly commissioned ECGD and the Treasury to develop multilateral strategies to secure more robust financial disciplines in respect of Government supported export credit agencies.
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