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Trade: Francophone Countries

Volume 703: debated on Monday 30 June 2008

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Whether French parastatal or commercial entities have, over the past four years, offered preferential terms for government or commercial contracts in non-Commonwealth Francophone countries as a result of any French government subsidies; and if so, whether such subsidies are permitted under European Union rules. [HL4293]

We do not hold detailed information on French Government business support programmes.

A number of member states, including France, provide concessional credit through tied aid programmes. Tied aid support, that is aid which is conditional on the purchase of national goods and services, is permitted if provided in accordance with internationally accepted rules.

France also offers export credit support to French exporters through its agency COFACE, which we believe largely mirrors the activities of ECGD in the UK which operates under internationally accepted norms for export credit and export credit insurance.