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Export Credits Guarantee Department

Volume 978: debated on Monday 4 February 1980

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asked the Secretary of State for Trade if he is satisfied that the cost of subsidising interest rate payments incurred by the Export Credits Guarantee Department is necessary for the purposes of trade promotion.

The interest support arrangements provided by the Export Credits Guarantee Department apply only to the 5 per cent. of our exports sold on two years' credit or more. These arrangements enable our exporters to provide credit to overseas buyers at interest rates which are both broadly comparable with those of our competitors and in line with the levels set by international agreement. Without this support, which most of our major competitors also provide, there is no doubt that some United Kingdom exporters would be placed at a serious competitive disadvantage.