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Aid And Trade Provision

Volume 227: debated on Monday 28 June 1993

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To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will place in the Library the findings of the Government's review of aid and trade provision.

The findings of the Government's review of the aid and trade provision were reflected in the answer I gave to my hon. Friend the Member for Croydon, South (Mr. Ottaway) on 17 June at column 679–80.

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what evidence the review on aid and trade provision received to substantiate the need and opportunities to improve effectiveness and value for money; and what steps are being taken to achieve such improvements.

In the course of the aid and trade provision review, evidence was considered from a wide variety of sources. Important sources on the scheme's effectiveness were evaluation studies of past aid and trade provision projects including the "ATP Evaluation Synthesis Study", a copy of which is already in the Library of the House, and discussions with companies which had implemented contracts funded by ATP.In future, the Overseas Development Administration's appraisal, approval and monitoring procedures for ATP projects will be brought in line with those for other bilateral aid projects. In addition, the Department of Trade and Industry is introducing more systematic appraisal of the likely commercial and industrial benefits to the United Kingdom economy, consistent with other schemes which pursue United Kingdom economic objectives.

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, pursuant to his answer to the hon. Member for Croydon, South, (Mr. Ottaway), on 17 June, Official Report, column 679, what date the new low-income criteria in respect of aid and trade provision will operate from;(2) further to his answer to the hon. Member for Croydon, South, (Mr. Ottaway), on 17 June,

Official Report, column 679, what exceptions there will be to the new regime for aid and trade provision during the transitional period; and when this period will end.

The new criteria became effective on the date of my answer—17 June 1993. Exceptions have been agreed only for projects on which companies have expended considerable time and effort, where expectation built up that ATP would be available if such projects satisfied the previously existing criteria. The projects in question are the Kuala Lumpur airport project in Malaysia, a water supply project in Thailand, and a few small technical co-operation projects.