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Volume 927: debated on Monday 7 March 1977

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asked the Secretary of State for Trade what steps are being taken to acquaint British industrialists with the immediate demand for a wide range of capital and other goods and services in the Lebanon.

The normal wide range of advice and assistance to exporters is available from my department and the British Overseas Trade Board (BOTB). Specific export opportunities to the Lebanon are channelled to subscribers through the BOTB's Export Intelligence Services. In addition, an exploratory mission to Beirut was undertaken in January under the auspices of the committee on Middle East Trade. Following this visit, publicity was given to a seminar at which a first hand account was given of the prospects for reconstruction and for the involvement of British firms.The Government have also, through its ambassador in Beirut, made offers to the Lebanese Government in connection with a number of projects that the Ministry of Overseas Development is willing to finance under its technical co-operation programme. It has been willing to provide funds for studies on the reconstruction of Beirut port and on industrial estates and related housing; an agricultural expert is being made available to examine appropriate forms of assistance; equipment has also been provided for a hospital and for the Ministry of Works.The commercial facilities of ECGD are also available for exports to the Lebanon on suitably secured terms which are being kept under constant review.