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Export Credit Guarantees: Burma

Paul Holmes: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how much debt is owed to UK companies by Burma; in relation to which (a) companies and (b) projects the Export Credits Guarantee Department has taken over this debt; and in each case when the guarantees were given. [145338]

Mr. McCartney: The amount owed by Burma to UK companies in respect of defaulted export contracts insured or guaranteed by the ECGD is £22.9 million. The ECGD has subrogated rights to recoveries.

Contracts for which the ECGD provided 100 per cent. guarantees for the related financing loans given by the National Westminster Bank are as follows:

The ECGD also insured two export contracts with Myanmar Textile Industries and the Inland Water Transport Corporation where the outstanding debt is £1.8 million. The policies were issued in 1980 and 1983. Owing to commercial confidentiality undertakings in insurance policies, the ECGD would need to notify those companies before disclosing their names.

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Farmers: Bankruptcy

Matthew Taylor: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how many and what proportion of farmers were declared bankrupt in (a) Cornwall, (b) the South West and (c) the UK in each year since 1979. [144231]

Jim Fitzpatrick: The closest available estimates for bankruptcies among farmers are the numbers of bankruptcy orders made under the category “agriculture and horticulture” according to the Insolvency Trade Classification (ITC). The table provides the figures for England and Wales, which are available from 1990 onwards.

Bankruptcies in Scotland and Northern Ireland are the responsibility of the devolved administrations and, while total bankruptcies could be provided, a breakdown by industry is not available.

Bankruptcy statistics are classified regionally according to the locations and areas of responsibility of official receivers’ (ORs) offices, each of which covers a number of courts having insolvency jurisdiction, and are not directly comparable with administrative geographies. Statistics broken down both by industry and regionally are not readily available for the period requested.

The Insolvency Trade Classification is not consistent with the Standard Industrial Classification 2003 (SIC2003) which is used to classify businesses, nor is the regional classification in use consistent with standard administrative geographies such as counties and Government office regions (GORs). It is not, therefore, possible to provide reliable estimates of the proportions of farmers becoming bankrupt, either at the regional or national level.

Bankruptcies in England and Wales in the Agriculture sector, January 1990 September 2006:

Bankruptcy orders in agriculture sector (E and W)

































2006 (up to September)(1)


(1) Figures from October 2006 are not available due to development work to update the classification of new cases to the Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) 2003.
Figures are not available prior to January 1990.

Lighting: Prices

Alan Duncan: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what additional cost he expects to be
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added to the retail price of (a) traditional incandescent light bulbs and (b) energy-saving light bulbs as a result of the implementation of the Waste, Electrical and Electronic Equipment Directive. [144915]

Malcolm Wicks: Incandescent light bulbs are not subject to the provisions of the Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) Directive, but energy- efficient light bulbs, including compact fluorescent bulbs, are. According to industry estimate it cost 20-25 pence to teat a fluorescent bulb. This treatment cost information appeared in the Regulatory Impact Assessment issued alongside the WEEE Regulations.

Ultimately it will be for the lamp industry to ensure that they remain priced at a reasonable level.

Low Carbon Buildings Programme

Peter Luff: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry on what date he expects the domestic stream of the Low Carbon Buildings Programme to be relaunched. [136970]

Jim Fitzpatrick: The household stream of the Low Carbon Buildings Programme was relaunched on 29 May 2007.

National Institute for Medical Research

Mr. Dismore: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what scientific representation there is for the National Institute for Medical Research on the working party of the Medical Research Council deciding on its future at the British Library site. [143071]

Malcolm Wicks: The National Institute for Medical Research (NIMR) is a wholly owned institute of the Medical Research Council. In October 2004, the MRC established a steering committee to oversee the further development of a business plan for the renewal of the NIMR, bringing together scientific and business issues. In February 2005, following the selection of University College London as the preferred partner for the renewal of the NIMR, a project group comprising representatives from the MRC, the NIMR and UCL was established to advise the Committee on the development of the business case required for the Gateway Process.

Mr. Dismore: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry on what date Sir Keith Peters was appointed as interim director of the National Institute for Medical Research (NIMR); how many days Sir Keith has worked at the NIMR since taking up the post; and if he will make a statement. [143078]

Malcolm Wicks: The National Institute for Medical Research (NIMR) is a wholly owned institute of the Medical Research Council (MRC).

Sir Keith Peters took up the appointment as an interim Director of the NIMR on 1 October 2006. His contract requires him to work an average of eight days per month.

Mr. Dismore: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry (1) whether the National Institute for Medical Research is permitted to do a preliminary
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feasibility study of the proposal to relocate to the British Library site; [143106]

(2) why the first statement of 31 May 2007 from the steering group on the relocation of the National Institute for Medical Research was qualified by the further statement of 1 June that the 31 May statement should not be given to the media or staff. [143965]

Malcolm Wicks: This is a matter for the Medical Research Council (MRC). I have asked the MRC’s Chief Executive, Professor Colin Blakemore, to reply to my hon. Friend.

New Businesses: Lancashire

Rosie Cooper: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how many new businesses established in West Lancashire received Government (a) funding and (b) assistance in each of the last five years. [144816]

Margaret Hodge: In 2002-03 one new business received funding through an enterprise grant (these became selective financial investment grants in 2004) funded by the Small Business Service. Since this time, there has been no take-up of available grants by new businesses.

The number of new businesses in West Lancashire receiving assistance through the Business Link service for the years in question is as follows:

Businesses receiving Business Link assistance











North West Development Agency: Finance

Mr. Wallace: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what the Northwest Regional Development Agency's budget was in each year since 1997. [145073]

Margaret Hodge: The following table shows the Single Pot budget given to the Northwest Regional Development Agency since their creation in 1999-2000 to the present year:

RDA/Year NWDA (£000)



















Nuclear Power Stations

Alan Duncan: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry when he expects to make an announcement on the proposed strategic siting assessment for new nuclear power stations. [144831]

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Malcolm Wicks: The Government recently published a consultation document on nuclear power as well as a consultation document inviting views on a proposed process for carrying out a strategic siting assessment (SSA). Both consultations close on 10 October 2007. We intend to publish a policy statement in response to both consultations by the end of the year.

The SSA consultation document proposes that, if the Government confirm their preliminary view that it is in the public interest to allow companies the option of investing in new nuclear power stations, the SSA will be launched in early 2008 and conclude in mid 2009.

Overseas Trade: Brazil

Mr. Iain Wright: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what further action he plans to take to encourage an increase in the value and volume of trade between the UK and Brazil. [145020]

Mr. McCartney: Brazil is identified as an emerging market under UK Trade and Investment's strategy "Prosperity in a Changing World". As part of this strategy, we are focusing on deepening our trade and economic relationship with Brazil with the aim of increasing the level of trade between the UK and Brazil. We aim to achieve this by raising awareness about the opportunities in Brazil and by tackling barriers to trade. The UK-Brazil Joint Economic Trade Committee (JETCO) is one tool already in place to support these aims and a number of activities are ongoing under this. For example:

In addition, four extra staff are joining UKTI's network in Brazil in the next few months as part of a refocusing of resources to emerging markets under the strategy. UKTI has also appointed a high growth market specialist from the private sector with extensive experience of Brazil to assist UKTI in raising awareness of the opportunities in Brazil and to provide business development advice and market intelligence for companies.

Power Stations: Peterhead

Mr. Frank Field: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if he will assess the likely effects of the proposals in the Government's White Paper on Energy on the planning of the 90 per cent. carbon free power station at Peterhead. [144900]

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Mr. McCartney: The Energy White Paper announced that a competition would be launched in November 2007 to develop the UK's first commercial scale demonstration of carbon capture and storage technologies on a power generation facility. This will contribute to the UK's emission reduction targets while also demonstrating the technology to an international audience in support of the Government's wider climate change objectives.

Since publication of the Energy White Paper BP has announced its withdrawal from the Peterhead project. We are aware that several other companies remain interested in participating in the competition and we are keen to see other projects come forward as the competition develops.

The decision on planning consent for a particular case is a matter for the relevant competent authority, and in the case of Peterhead that is Scottish Ministers under section 36 of the Electricity Act 1989. I understand they gave approval to the proposal on 14 June this year.

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