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Overseas Contracts

Volume 84: debated on Monday 21 October 1985

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asked the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry when, and in what manner, he published the revised arrangements for Government assistance to firms bidding for overseas contracts with a development content; what are the changes in procedure described as streamlining and in what manner they differ from the current practice; what financial estimates are, or will be, made from his Department in respect of the revised scheme; and what part officials from his Department will play in the determination of the distribution of the public expenditure concerned.

The guidance for applicants for support under the aid and trade provision will be revised to take into account modifications already agreed, such as the eligibility of China, and those under discussion, including the possibility of a soft loan facility. Procedures have been streamlined through changes in arrangements for interdepartmental scrutiny.Funds for the aid and trade provision, which forms part of the aid programme, will be settled in the current public expenditure round. My Department will continue to handle applications from companies, preparing them for discussion with the Overseas Development Administration.