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Mr. Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what is the (a) make, (b) model and (c) number of each make and model of car (i) owned and (ii) leased by his Department; and what is the (1) purchase price and (2) annual cost of the lease of each car. 
|Make||Model||Number||Annual cost per car(3) (£)|
(3) Excluding VAT
Mr. Coleman: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what arrangements to support sub-regional private/public partnerships will operate in London until the London Development Agency becomes operational. 
Mr. Alan Johnson: My Department supports the work of the sub-regional partnerships through the Government Office for London and the Invest in Britain Bureau and this will continue up to, and after, the establishment of the London Development Agency on 3 July.
Mr. Alan Johnson: My Department provides assistance to encourage competitiveness and innovation in manufacturing and other sectors through a range of schemes and initiatives delivered in London. These include Regional Selective Assistance; Enterprise Grants; and support through Business Links aimed at developing new and growing businesses, including in export markets.
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Mr. Llew Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if he will list each of the projects in Russia where British Nuclear Fuels has a business or research involvement; and if he will set out the sources of the support budgets in each case. 
Mr. Simon Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what support his Department is providing to the organisers of this year's Farnborough Airshow; and what assistance his Department is providing to overseas visitors to attend the show. 
Mr. Alan Johnson: My Department is providing no financial support to the Society of British Aerospace Companies (SBAC) in respect of the Farnborough International 2000 Airshow. Support from my Department of up to £29,500 has been offered to the SBAC, to assist delegations from Brazil, Canada and the Czech Republic attend the Airshow.
Mr. Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry when the review of maternity pay and parental leave will conclude; what organisations have been involved in the review; and how the information will be treated once the review is completed. 
Mr. Alan Johnson [holding answer 26 June 2000]: I refer my hon. Friend to the answer given to my hon. Friend the Member for Ellesmere Port and Neston (Mr. Miller) on 22 June 2000, Official Report, columns 236-37W. There will be extensive consultation throughout the review.
Mr. Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what steps he has taken to assess the compatibility of (a) the Convention on Biological Diversity and (b) the Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights Agreement in respect of the treatment of genetic resources. 
Dr. Howells: We consider the World Trade Organisation's (WTO) Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) Agreement and the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) to be compatible, but we need to ensure that they are implemented in a mutually supportive way. For this reason we supported the recent decision of the 5th Convention of Parties (COP5) to the CBD, which asked the WTO further to explore the interrelationship between the provisions of the TRIPS agreement and the CBD.
Mr. Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if he will make it his policy to seek an amendment to Article 27.3(b) of the Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights Agreement to exclude genetic resources for food and agriculture. 
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Dr. Howells: The current exclusions from patentability for biological materials as set out in Article 27.3(b) of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) Agreement allow all WTO members sufficient flexibility to implement patent and other intellectual property regimes appropriate to their individual circumstances, within internationally agreed limits. Patents are afforded only to new technical inventions. Valid rights cannot be obtained for naturally occurring plants or animals or information concerning their genetic composition. Similarly, traditional or indigenous knowledge concerning the existence, use or properties of plants and animals is already not patentable. Given this flexibility and these limitations, we do not consider the requirements of Section 27.3(b) to be incompatible with WTO member states needs.
Dr. Howells: Patents are available only for inventions for new technical solutions. Under the Patents Act 1977 and EC Directive (98/44/EC) on the legal protection of biotechnological inventions, plant and animal varieties, or the breeding of plants and animals by traditional methods, cannot be the subject of patent rights. However, inventions concerning plants and animals may be patentable if the technical feasibility of the invention is not confined to a particular plant or animal variety. To be patentable, such an invention would have to satisfy the general criteria for patentability that the invention is new and would not be obvious to someone in the technical field.
Mr. Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what steps he is taking to increase (a) public involvement in the WTO decision-making process and (b) openness in the operation of the WTO. 
Mr. Caborn: The Government launched a consultation exercise before Seattle and continues to receive and respond to public concerns through correspondence as well as the DTI website www.dti.gov.uk/worldtrade. I, my colleagues and our officials also hold regular meetings with business, NGOs and trade unions. The UK has, since Seattle, pressed for progress on WTO reform, and in particular on issues relating to consensus building and communication. The WTO's General Council agreed earlier this year that a consultation process should be launched on improvements to WTO consultative and decision-making procedures. We await the outcome of this consultative process.
Mr. Caborn: The Government launched a consultation exercise before Seattle and continues to receive and respond to public concerns through correspondence as well as the DTI website www.dti.gov.uk/worldtrade. On 7-8 February, the WTO General Council meeting agreed that a consultation process should be launched on
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improvements to WTO consultative and decision-making procedures. We await the outcome of this consultative process.
Mr. Caborn: The UK supports China's accession to the WTO on the right terms. We welcome the European Commission's success in negotiating an EU/China bilateral market access agreement. Of course, it is essential that China's commitments upon accession to the WTO are clearly set out and reviewed at regular intervals to ensure adherence.
Mr. Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what progress he is making in achieving clarification of the relationship between multi-lateral environmental agreements and the WTO rules. 
Mr. Caborn: The UK and EU have proposed that a new Round of WTO negotiations includes a clarification of the relationship between WTO rules and trade measures taken within multi-lateral environmental agreements. We are continuing our efforts to build a consensus among WTO members for this proposal.
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