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Exporters need backing

Letters

In the columns of one of the broadsheets some days ago, there was a reference to Baroness Symons, the Minister for Trade, 'pimping' for British exporters in leading a trade mission to Chile.

Since the 'Mittal Affair' hit the headlines, a regrettable perception is growing that any form of ministerial support for British exports is automatically sleazy.

Further, there is an implication that government should distance itself from any involvement in such promotional activities. This is highly damaging for the British export of professional services and goods - the life blood of wealth creation for UK plc.

Exporters have always relied heavily and benefited enormously from government support. It is an established practice the world over.

Indeed in many target markets for exporters, the reassurance provided by tangible national government support for a project can be crucial when deciding which firm will win the contract.

In comparison with others, successive British governments have had a reasonable track record in support of British exporters, and the present administration is no exception.

However, we as British exporters, especially in professional expertise, need much more, not less, active support from this government and its ministers.

Malcolm Noyce, chairman, BCCB and Colin Adams CBE, chief executive, BCCB, One Westminster Palace Gardens, Artillery Row, London SW1P 1RJ

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