§ Mr. Streeter
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what assessment she has made of the impact that the end of export credits for military expenditure will have on developing countries. 
§ Mr. Foulkes
We welcome the Chancellor's announcement of 11 January of a unilateral UK ban on export credits in respect of "unproductive expenditure" to 63 of the world's poorest countries. This extends the UK's unilateral 2-year ban on export credits for unproductive expenditure to Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPCs) announced in September 1997. This is now being extended indefinitely and widened to cover all countries which are eligible to borrow from the World Bank only on highly concessional terms.
Many of these countries are currently not on cover to receive export credits from the UK. We believe that export credit should only be granted to the poorest countries only where they are used for productive purposes which enable countries to benefit from faster economic growth and increased spending on social services. There is, therefore, a positive role for export credits in these countries. ECGD support for projects in these countries will be cleared by our Department to ensure they are not "unproductive".