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Trade Promotion

Volume 552: debated on Monday 5 November 2012

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many events have been held at British embassies or consulates to promote Scottish businesses in the last three years; and which businesses were represented at such events.

[Official Report, 30 October 2012, Vol. 552, c. 176W.]

Letter of correction from Hugo Swire:

An error has been identified in the written answer given to the hon. Member for Glasgow East (Margaret Curran) on 30 October 2012.

The full answer given was as follows: (125598)

Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) and UK Trade and Investment (UKTI) officials meet UK businesses seeking to export regularly. These interactions occur in a wide variety of circumstances, and it is therefore not possible to assess accurately the total number of meetings that have taken place over the past three years.

Our Charter for Business sets out how the FCO supports UK business overseas and how the FCO is working to help deliver success for the UK's economy. We are supporting and promoting businesses across the UK, and do not differentiate on where they are based. UKTI also has a vital role to play in supporting British business. UKTI helped 25,450 businesses in 2011-12, 90% of them SMEs. UKTI trade support generated over £30 billion of additional sales for its clients—this support helped firms create 36,400 new jobs and secure a further 68,500.

British companies can make full use of UKTI's trade services, including the resources provided by UKTI offices overseas. Additionally, where appropriate, the Scottish Government's trade and investment arm, Scottish Development International, is also available.

As examples, in 2011-12:

172 grants were provided to Scottish firms through support under UKTI's Tradeshow Access programme.

310 reports were commissioned on behalf of Scottish firms through overseas posts under UKTI's Overseas Market Introduction Services.

Three research projects were offered to Scottish firms under UKTI's Export Marketing Research scheme.

Four Scottish missions to India, Brazil, Qatar and China (a total of 39 companies) were supported under UKTI's Market Visit Support programme.

Our diplomatic, consular and UKTI network is one of the largest and most respected in the world, with around 270 diplomatic posts in 170 countries, employing 14,000 staff. This delivers real benefits to Scottish people and businesses at home and overseas.

The correct answer should have been:

Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) and UK Trade and Investment (UKTI) officials meet UK businesses seeking to export regularly. These interactions occur in a wide variety of circumstances, and it is therefore not possible to assess accurately the total number of meetings that have taken place over the past three years.

Our Charter for Business sets out how the FCO supports UK business overseas and how the FCO is working to help deliver success for the UK's economy. We are supporting and promoting businesses across the UK, and do not differentiate on where they are based. UKTI also has a vital role to play in supporting British business. UKTI helped 25,450 businesses in 2011-12, 90% of them SMEs. UKTI trade support generated over £30 billion of additional sales for its clients—this support helped firms create 36,400 new jobs and secure a further 68,500.

British companies can make full use of UKTI's trade services, including the resources provided by UKTI offices overseas. Additionally, where appropriate, the Scottish Government's trade and investment arm, Scottish Development International, is also available.

As examples, in 2011-12:

172 grants were provided to Scottish firms through support under UKTI's Tradeshow Access programme.

310 reports were commissioned on behalf of Scottish firms through overseas posts under UKTI's Overseas Market Introduction Services.

Three research projects were offered to Scottish firms under UKTI's Export Marketing Research scheme.

Four Scottish missions to India, Brazil, Qatar and China (a total of 34 companies) were supported under UKTI's Market Visit Support programme.

Our diplomatic, consular and UKTI network is one of the largest and most respected in the world, with around 270 diplomatic posts in 170 countries, employing 14,000 staff. This delivers real benefits to Scottish people and businesses at home and overseas.