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Volume 167: debated on Monday 12 February 1990

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To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if he will make a further statement on the action which he is taking to increase British exports.

My Department and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office provide through the export initiative a package of measures offering a wide range of practical help, advice and support to United Kingdom exporters.Our clear aim is to encourage potential exporters to consider selling overseas and existing exporters to sell more. The decision to export of course rests with individual firms: it is they who will determine whether they are successful. Our role is to help them in their decision-making and to provide the services they require to enter export markets. Our services are closely monitored to ensure they continue to meet the needs of exporters.It is encouraging to see that the volume of exports, excluding oil and erratic items, was 10 per cent. higher in 1989 than in 1988.