To ask the President of the Board of Trade what increases have taken place in Export Credits Guarantee Department rates to Latin America for medium and long-term capital gains schemes, for convenient dates over the last decade.
Figures are not readily available for premiums charged during the 1980s. Since 1991, the cost of ECGD cover has been more directly linked to the assessment of the risks. Premium rates area also individually tailored according to the features of each piece of business. Overall, average increases/decreases for premium rates for Latin American markets for which cover has been available throughout this period have been:
To ask the President of the Board of Trade what he is doing to encourage medium-sized British companies to operate in Latin America.
My right hon. Friend the President of the Board of Trade led a business mission to Mexico and Argentina in June 1993. Bilateral trade facilitation groups have been established with Colombia and Mexico, and the Proyecto Venezuela initiative is being continued. In addition, there is a full programme of outward and inward trade missions, exhibitions, seminars and other promotional activities organised with the help of the Latin American Trade Advisory Group (LATAG). The programme aims to encourage small and medium-sized British companies to operate in Latin America.
To ask the President of the Board of Trade what were the results of his exports promotion scheme in relation to six major Latin American markets.
The new export promotion scheme is in its initial stages. Each of the six major Latin American markets will be allocated at least one industry secondee and one market desk officer dedicated to the promotion of that market. The export promoter and dedicated market official will be responsible for the development and implementation of an export strategy for their market.
To ask the President of the Board of Trade what action he has taken to bring in people with experience of Latin American markets into relevant posts (a) at his Department's headquarters and (b) in British missions abroad.
My right hon. Friend the President of the Board of Trade has written to a large number of United Kingdom companies inviting them to provide secondees to the Department. So far, two export promoters have been appointed for Latin America, and we hope to recruit a further seven. The majority of commercial staff in British missions overseas are recruited from the local private sector.