Previous Section Index Home Page

2 Nov 2004 : Column 202W—continued


Antiretroviral Drugs

Mr. Best: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what plans the Government has to encourage the World Trade Organisation to change the TRIPS rules on antiretroviral drugs; and if he will make a statement. [195500]

Hilary Benn: On 30 August 2003 the World Trade Organisation (WTO) reached an agreement to enable countries with insufficient or no manufacturing capacities in the pharmaceutical sector to make effective use of the compulsory licensing provisions already present in the TRIPS Agreement. The decision which
2 Nov 2004 : Column 203W
the WTO Members made should improve access to cheaper medicines, including antiretrovirals, for poor countries lacking production capacity.

Discussions continue in Geneva, with a view to turning the 30 August Decision into an amendment to the TRIPS Agreement itself. The UK Government would prefer to see a swift conclusion to these discussions and an amendment which faithfully reflects the agreement reached on 30 August. However, delay in agreeing an amendment to the TRIPS Agreement will not affect developing countries' ability to use the Decision.

Our view is that developing countries should be able to take full advantage of the flexibilities in the TRIPS
2 Nov 2004 : Column 204W
Agreement—including compulsory licensing—as set out in the Doha Ministerial Declaration on TRIPS and Public Health.


Gregory Barker: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development if he will list firms liquidated by CDC/Actis Capital by (a) sector, (b) country, (c) original investment amount and (d) liquidation return amount since 1998. [193287]

Hilary Benn: The following table contains the information for companies put into liquidation since 2000. Earlier information cannot be obtained except at disproportionate cost.
£ million
Investment companySectorCountryOriginal investment amountCapital returned
Adesemi Communications International IncTelecommunicationsTanzania2.20.3
Afribrand Holdings Ltd.Food manufactureSouth Africa5.20.0
Africarco Haulage Ltd.Transport and logisticsTanzania0.80.7
Bonair Fashion Ltd.TextilesMauritius1.31.3
Enterprise Capital FundVenture capital fundSouth Africa3.31.3
Guyana Housing and Development Co Ltd.Housing financeGuyana0.40.4
Guyana Mortgage Finance Co Ltd.Housing financeGuyana1.71.7
Guyana State CorporationAgribusinessGuyana0.50.5
Hala Spinning Ltd.TextilesPakistan1.61.6
Karimjee Agriculture Ltd.AgribusinessTanzania3.43.2
Langa National Brickworks (Pty) Ltd.Brick manufactureSwaziland1.00.0
Mananga Management CentreAgricultural trainingSwaziland0.90.9
MacGregor Property Pty Ltd.PropertyPapua New Guinea2.51.8
Minaco Fabrics Ltd.TextilesPakistan2.51.1
Mubarik Dairies Ltd.AgribusinessPakistan0.10.0
Natex Holdings Ltd.TextilesSwaziland16.73.6
Nusantara Investment Fund Ltd.Venture capital fundIndonesia4.51.5
Shape Fabrics Ltd.TextilesMauritius0.30.0
Tropical Glass Co Ltd.Glass manufacturingGhana1.11.1
Woventex Ltd.TextilesMauritius1.40.0

Gregory Barker: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what proportion of China Capital Partners Ltd. CDC has owned in each year since 1999; and if he will list its other investors by (a) amount and (b) proportion since 1999. [193320]

Hilary Benn: From 1999 to 2004, China Capital Partners Ltd. was owned 50 per cent. by CDC Group plc and 50 per cent. by Aviva plc. It is now owned 100 per cent. by Actis. The amount paid by Aviva for its investment in China Capital Partners is confidential to the parties involved.

China Capital Partners

Gregory Barker: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development if he will list China Capital Partners Ltd.'s investments by (a) sector, (b) location, (c) amount and (d) percentage of ownership. [193321]

Hilary Benn: The information (a) (b) and (c) is shown in the following table:

Investment company


Amount invested
(US$ million)
NorthPoleManufacturingChina, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh30.0
Mengniu DairyDairy producerMongolia7.5
PowercomTelecomsShenzhen, Guangdong12.0
China WolfberryBeveragesShongwei, Zhonghing10.0
China National Offshore Oil
Company (CNOOC)
Minerals, oil and gasOffshore China25.0

(d) The stake in CNOOC has been sold. The other stakes are minority holdings. The exact percentages are commercially sensitive.

Climate Change

Paul Flynn: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development whether the UK's international development policies are assessed for their impact on climate change. [194270]

Hilary Benn: The goal of UK development assistance is poverty eradication and the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals. DFID supports developing countries in the planning and implementation of their development strategies, for
2 Nov 2004 : Column 205W
example national poverty reduction plans, including responding to climate related risks. We also support multilateral work to support low carbon development.

DFID's environmental safeguard policies require all bilateral programmes to be screened for a range of environmental impacts, including climate change. The screening requirements are due for review in 2005 and we will be examining ways to improve our treatment of climate risks.

With respect to aid funds delivered through multilateral organisations, DFID is working with them to ensure that their environmental screening policies address climate change, and to raise awareness about tackling climate change proactively. Following the 2001 review of the World Bank's role in oil and gas extraction and mining (the Extractive Industries Review), we secured a commitment from the World Bank Group to increase investments in energy efficiency and renewable energy over the period 2005 to 2010. However, we consider the World Bank's target of doubling investment in energy efficiency and renewable energy too modest, and have called for further review in 2005.

The UK is committed to helping developing countries manage risks and adapt to impacts of climate change. DFID has issued preliminary guidance as part of an overall adaptation strategy. We plan to develop more detailed guidance in 2005, in partnership with the UN International Strategy for Disaster Reduction and the World Bank.

Ministers' Private Offices

Mr. Prisk: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what the running costs of Ministers' private offices in his Department have been in each year since 1997. [191382]

Hilary Benn: It is difficult to separate out the running costs of Ministers' Private Offices from the total expenditure of DFID's Top Management Group, which includes the Permanent Secretary, the Directors General and their staff.

For the financial year 2003–04, the best estimate of Ministers' Private Office running cost expenditure is £1,149,559. This includes salary for Ministers and their staff (including the Parliamentary and Correspondence Units), travel and subsistence, training, subscriptions, post and telecommunications.

For previous years, I refer the hon. Member to the response I gave to the hon. Member for Arundel and South Downs (Mr. Flight) on the 17 July 2003, Official Report, column 573W. Figures from previous years are not directly comparable given revised budgeting procedures and for a short period in 2003–04 there was an additional Ministerial position and Private Office.

Palestinian Equity Fund

Linda Perham: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development if he will make a statement on his Department's policy on the Palestinian Equity Fund. [194822]

Hilary Benn: The Palestinian Equity Fund is a new scheme to provide small loans to Palestinian olive farmers to modernise the olive oil industry. DFID has
2 Nov 2004 : Column 206W
considered very carefully proposals that we should fund this initiative. Small enterprise development and agriculture are not however focus areas for DFID as set out in our Country Assistance Plan for Palestinians 2004–06. We have advised the organisers of the fund of possible alternative sources of support.

Next Section Index Home Page