§ Mr. Maclean
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development if she will make a statement on the role of Ambassadors for British Business in the work of her Department; and how many such Ambassadors she has met since 1 May 1997. 
§ Clare Short
My Department has begun to consult widely and developed new working relationships with the business community, both in-country and in the UK since 1997. As we make clear in our Development White Paper, business has a strong interest in successful development and the sustainable economic growth necessary to reduce poverty requires a thriving private sector. We consult through established business groups rather than on a company by company basis. I have so far met with six of the thirty-six Ambassadors for British Business to discuss areas of particular interest to my Department's objectives.