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Mr. Sharma: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills whether new trading connections have been made between British and Palestinian businesses since the Palestine Trade and Investment Forum in December; and what steps his Department has taken to assist Palestinian produce in the British market. 
Ian Lucas: UK Trade and Investment (UKTI) helps UK based companies succeed in international markets and also assists overseas companies to bring high quality investment to the UK. Although UKTI has no formal role in assisting overseas companies to export into the UK, the Department has contributed to discussions held since the London Forum on Trade and Investment with Palestine, on creating an export hub for Palestinian produce in the West Bank. UKTI provides a range of support services to British companies wishing to trade with or invest in Palestine, through commercial teams based in both the UK and the British Consulate General in Jerusalem. Although UKTI facilitates businesses wishing to trade, it does not hold records of business transactions completed.
Mr. Sharma: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills what progress has been made in promoting and facilitating bilateral trade and investment in the Palestinian Territories since the launch of the Palestine-Britain Business Council in December 2008. 
My noble Friend the Minister for Trade, Investment and Business visited Jerusalem and Ramallah on 20 May 2009, sharing ideas on boosting bilateral trade and economic links with Palestine's Minister for National Economy, the Governor of the Palestine Monetary Authority and senior members of the Palestinian business community. UK Trade and Investment (UKTI) has worked closely with the Palestine-Britain Business Council since its launch in December 2008, and continues to provide a range of support services to British companies through teams based in both the UK and the British Consulate General in Jerusalem. Follow-up to December 2008's London Business Forum on Trade and Investment with Palestine includes a visit by Google to the West Bank in March 2009 to explore the potential for IT development and to give two training courses for Palestinians working in the ICT industry.
Plans have also been put in place for UK trade missions to the West Bank later in the year in the tourism and construction sectors.
Ian Lucas: UKTI supports the work of the Palestine Britain Business Council by attending and contributing to meetings of UK Council members and through facilitating Business Council activity in both the UK and in Palestine. UKTI is working closely with the Business Council and other business stakeholders on follow-up to the London Business Forum on Trade and Investment in Palestine, held on 15 December 2008. Activities under discussion for 2009-10 include UK trade missions to Palestine in the Tourism and Construction sectors.
Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills what related party transactions were declared by each board member of each of the regional development agencies in the last three years. 
|RDA||Board m ember||Political p arty to which transaction made|
As at 11 June 2009 the East of England development agency, ONE North East, and South East of England development agency, do not have any board members who have declared making recordable donations to a political party during the last five years.
Peter Luff: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills what recent discussions the Secretary of State has had with the Secretary of State for Transport on the future procurement of rolling stock; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Hoyle: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills what steps have been taken to ensure that proposals for the sale of parts of Royal Mail provide value for money. 
For that reason Government were clear in their February policy document and with potential bidders, that the price offered for any stake would be a key factor in considering bids. Ministers have made it clear during the passage of the Postal Services Bill that they will not do a deal at any price.
Ian Lucas: Government have received a number of expressions of interest regarding a partnership with Royal Mail. At this stage of the process only TNT has made their interest public. For commercial confidentiality reasons it is not possible to provide any further details.
Mr. Hoyle: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills what the outcome was of the Secretary of State's discussions on further share sales in Royal Mail beyond a 30 per cent. stake. 
Ian Lucas: The exact percentage required to cement a partnership for Royal Mail is a matter for negotiation with any partner. The Department believes a 30 per cent. stake would ensure that a partner has the right incentive to take forward the modernisation of the business and to align their interests with those of Government.
The Government have held no discussions on further share sales beyond a partnership transaction. Flexibility is important, however, for example to ensure that some element of employee share ownership is possible in the future should this be shown to represent good value for money.
Mr. Hoyle: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills on how many occasions the asset value of Royal Mail has been calculated in the last two years; and what action was taken following each such calculation. 
Mr. Hoyle: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills on what basis it was decided to propose a sale of 30 per cent. of Royal Mail; what other percentages were considered; and why they were rejected. 
The level of shareholding required to cement a partnership for Royal Mail is a matter for negotiation with any partner. Government have cited a shareholding in the region of 30 per cent. as one which
would be sufficient for the partner to have a strong economic interest in Royal Mail and to ensure its incentives are fully aligned with those of the Governmentnamely to modernise the business rapidly and improve its performance.
Mr. Hoyle: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills what (a) written and (b) oral representations Ministers in his Department have received on the timing of the proposed part-sale of Royal Mail; and what response has been made to those representations. 
Ian Lucas: The Department has received numerous written and oral representations about our proposals for a strategic partnership for Royal Mail. We believe this is the best way to accelerate the modernisation of the business to secure its future and to ensure the maintenance of the universal postal service.
Mr. Gray: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills what representations he has received from small businesses on their ability to buy goods on credit; and if he will make a statement. 
Ian Lucas: The Government maintain a close dialogue with a range of business bodies that represent the interests of their members, including through groups such as the Small Business Finance Forum, and is in daily contact with individual businesses on the broad range of issues related to accessing finance. Membership of the Small Business Finance Forum includes the Finance and Leasing Association.
SEEDA acquire land specifically for a defined project and, therefore, does not own unused land.
Any unused buildings SEEDA owns are unsuitable for use because they are in various forms of regeneration or development.
Malcolm Bruce: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills what discussions his officials have had with the new Indian government on the Doha Development Round; and if he will make a statement. 
My right hon. Friend the Prime Minister regularly raises the Doha round in his contacts with other leaders. In this vein he raised it with Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh last month. My noble Friend
the Secretary of State raised it with Indian Commerce Minister Anand Sharma this month, and both he and my noble Friend the Minister for Trade, Investment and Business are due to meet Minister Sharma this month to discuss a range of issues including the Doha round.
Gregory Barker: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (1) what UK Trade and Investment support is planned for UK low carbon sector businesses at (a) the architecture seminar on sustainable buildings as part of the Singapore Design Festival in November 2009, (b) BESAsia in Kuala Lumpur in November 2009, (c) Technology World in November 2009, (d) the NanoForum and Energising Technologies Conference in November 2009, (e) the World Energy Summit in Abu Dhabi in January 2010, (f) Ecobuild in London in March 2010 and (g) the Shanghai World Expo in 2010; 
UK Trade and Investment is leading on a UK Low Carbon International Marketing Strategy. This is a partnership between business and Government to build the UK's low carbon reputation and position the UK to take advantage of global business opportunities.
The strategy's overarching messaging and case studies of UK low carbon solutions were launched at a partnership event on 25 March 2009. This was a joint event organised by UK Trade and Investment and the Carbon Trust. Approximately 70 representatives from UK business, professional bodies and organisations with low carbon solutions or interest in the low carbon economy attended, in addition to David Miliband, Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, and officials from UK Trade and Investment, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, Department for Business Enterprise and Regulatory Reform, and Department of Energy and Climate Change.
UK businesses will be able to showcase their low carbon solutions and meet international buyers at a number of events in the UK and overseas including the architecture seminar on sustainable buildings as part of the Singapore Design Festival in November 2009, BESAsia in Kuala Lumpur in November 2009, Technology World
in November 2009, the NanoForum and Energising Technologies Conference in November 2009, (e) the World Energy Summit in Abu Dhabi in January 2010, Ecobuild in London in March 2010 and (g) the Shanghai World Expo in 2010.
As low carbon has bearing on all sectors of the economy, it has relevance to all sector teams in UKTI sectors Group and to delivery by the UK Trade and Investment network as a whole. The Managing Director of Sectors Group in UK Trade and Investment is responsible for the development of UK International Marketing Strategies including low carbon.
Ian Lucas: Most calls for a ban have been around concerns about labour abuses, especially the use of child labour, in Uzbekistan. The UK remains concerned about allegations of the use of child labour in the cotton sector in Uzbekistan. The UK has raised its concerns through the EU and has discussed this issue with the Uzbek government. The EU welcomed Uzbekistans signing of the International Labour Organisation Conventions on the Worst Forms of Child Labour and Minimum Age in 2008 and 2009 respectively and has urged Uzbekistan to implement effectively its international obligations in this regard.
The UK Government continue to call on businesses to look at their supply chains and take appropriate action if they find evidence that goods have been produced using child labour. Some companies have committed to not using Uzbek cotton in their products and monitor their direct supply chains to ensure that this is so.
Philip Davies: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills how much financial support was given by UK Trade and Investment to the video games industry in 2007-08. 
Ian Lucas: UK Trade and Investment supports the UK Video Game Industry through the ICT, Creative Industries and Education Sector Teams as well as through its overseas posts and regional colleagues based in the Regional Development Agencies.
Sector Codes used to account for spend by UKTI in 2007-08 do not include a video game subsector. When one includes activities beneficial to the Video Game Industry through support of the entire Software sector in the UK and overseas, the approximate spend is £464,484.
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