asked the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry for what reasons the support of the British Overseas Trade Board was withdrawn from British companies exhibiting at the 1985 autumn fair at Frankfurt; how many companies were promised support; what was the anticipated cost of the support; how much notice of withdrawal was given; and how many complaints have been received by his Department or the British Overseas Trade Board.
[pursuant to his reply, 12 June 1985, c. 462]: Where British Overseas Trade Board (BOTB) support has not been offered to British exporters exhibiting at the 1985 Frankfurt Autumn Fair this is because the BOTB has considered that other overseas exhibitions better meet the objectives of its support by providing the more effective return to the British economy.The trade associations and other bodies which sponsor BOTB groups at overseas exhibitions were aware that the BOTB's programme of support would be reduced this year; a copy of the BOTB's consultation document—available in the Library—was sent to them on 3 December 1984. No offers of support were made and then withdrawn as a result of the reduction in the programme.The net cost to the BOTB of support at the 1984 Frankfurt Autumn Fair was £54,000; this could have been expected to be of the order of £52,000 in 1985.Trade associations and other sponsoring bodies were advised of the BOTB's view about which exhibitions they considered it likely they could include in the programme of support by a BOTB letter dated 17 April. Fourteen letters have been received about the BOTB's decision on this exhibition. Trade associations and others were also informed on 17 April that BOTB support is likely to be given at the Frankfurt Spring Fair in March 1986.