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Exporters (Assistance)

Volume 176: debated on Wednesday 18 July 1990

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To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what resources have been provided to date to assist small firms to study the potential of new overseas markets under his Department's export marketing research scheme.

Since the inception of the export marketing research scheme in 1969 some £25 million has been expended in grants. Since 9 May 1990, firms have been eligible for support only if they have fewer than 200 employees. Details of the size of firms using the scheme before then are not available.

I am obliged to my hon. Friend the Minister for that reply. Is he aware that the scheme will be immensely beneficial to dozens of small firms in the Stroud valleys in my constituency? Will he ensure that the scheme gets the maximum publicity?

I am grateful to my hon. Friend for his support for the scheme. He does much good work with businesses in his constituency. I am delighted to hear that they are taking advantage of the scheme. Question Time is another opportunity to publicise an extremely helpful scheme.