§ Mrs. Gillan
To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what(a) advice and (b) assistance has been provided by his Department to delegations intending to visit Libya. 
§ Mr. Wilson
Following the suspension of UN Sanctions in April, the Department has encouraged several private sponsors of trade missions to take forward their plans for taking business delegations to Libya this summer and autumn. However, up until now that encouragement has fallen short of formal endorsement of particular missions or offering financial assistance. Without a functioning Commercial Section in a British Embassy in Tripoli, British Trade International is currently unable to offer the full range of assistance which is usually associated with visits which receive full Government assistance. We are actively pursuing the re-establishment, at the earliest opportunity, of a fully operational commercial section.547W
In light of the welcome announcement by my right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary today, Official Report, columns 1033–43, on WPC Fletcher, I am able to outline the following staged approach to supporting trade promotion with Libya:British Trade International's desk officer for Libya will travel next week with a trade mission. This will enable us to handle with first hand knowledge business inquiries and a planned programme of presentations and promotional events around the country. British Trade International has already established a WebPage to make available information on Libya as it becomes available.We have invited sponsor organisations to apply for British Trade International support for trade missions in the period 2000–01. Officials are also discussing with other government departments their own plans for future trade missions and the possibility of Ministerial visits.