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Baroness Anelay of St Johns asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord Falconer of Thoroton: As announced by the New Millennium Experience Company on 3 March, the total value of the hammer price for the items auctioned (that is the price bid by purchasers of individuals items) was approximately £3.5 million. This figure is subject to final reconciliation after completion of payments and collection of items by the purchasers. However, if the total remains at £3.5 million, the auctioneers, under the terms of their contract with the New Millennium Experience Company, will receive commission from NMEC of approximately £173,000. The remainder of the income from the auction will revert to the benefit of NMEC. Prior to the auction itself, the auctioneers provided a range of professional services to NMEC, including the organisation of the auction itself, identification of items to be auctioned, cataloguing, valuing, and marketing. The value of this work, which includes all marketing expenses and which again is subject to final reconciliation, is estimated to be £1.5 million. The auctioneers are continuing to deliver services under their contract, which is currently intended to terminate on 31 March 2001.

16 Mar 2001 : Column WA118

NMEC: Liquidation

Baroness Anelay of St Johns asked Her Majesty's Government:

    On what date the New Millennium Experience Company will go into liquidation.[HL1082]

Lord Falconer of Thoroton: The New Millennium Experience Company (NMEC) will appoint a liquidator as soon as the company has been able to realise the whole of its assets and to discharge its outstanding liabilities. It is important on practical grounds, and in the interests of cost effectiveness, that this process is completed to the fullest possible extent before the appointment of a liquidator. Whilst the intention is that a liquidator will be appointed later this year, at this stage it is not possible to give a definitive date for that appointment.

Parliamentary Pay and Allowances: Review Body Report

Lord Williams of Elvel asked Her Majesty's Government:

    When they will publish the Review Body on Senior Salaries' report of parliamentary pay and allowances.[HL1276]

The Lord Privy Seal (Baroness Jay of Paddington): The Government are publishing the Review Body on Senior Salaries' report of parliamentary pay and allowances today. The Government are grateful to Sir Michael Perry and the members of the SSRB for their work and the Government have noted their recommendations.

This will be a matter for decision by Parliament.

Broadband Services and Optical Wireless Technology

The Earl of Northesk asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether they have considered the adoption of optical wireless technology as a means of delivering broadband connectivity to the Internet within the United Kingdom.[HL1017]

The Minister for Science, Department of Trade and Industry (Lord Sainsbury of Turville): The Government are aware of optical wireless technology as a means of delivering broadband services, and granted a Public Telecommunications Operator licence to one such operator last November.

16 Mar 2001 : Column WA119

UK/Eurozone Trade

Lord Lamont of Lerwick asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What is the ratio of non-Euroland trade to gross domestic product; and how this ratio compares with each Eurozone country's ratio of non-Euroland trade.[HL1037]

Lord Sainsbury of Turville: Information on the UK and each Eurozone country's trade in goods with non-Eurozone countries as a percentage of gross domestic product is given in the following table:

UK & Eurozone countries' trade in goods with non-Eurozone countries as a percentage of gross domestic product-1999

Exports as % of GDPImports as % of GDPTotal trade as % of GDP
UK8.611.319.9
Austria13.412.125.5
Belgium26.526.953.4
Finland21.116.037.1
France10.29.720.0
Germany14.312.626.9
Ireland45.039.184.1
Italy10.89.119.9
Luxembourg10.110.720.9
Netherlands19.225.744.9
Portugal7.411.218.6
Spain7.310.317.6

Note: Total trade equals exports plus imports

Source: OECD Series A

OECD Main Economic Indicators


16 Mar 2001 : Column WA120

Anglo-Georgian Trade

Lord Biffen asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What has been the trend in Anglo-Georgian trade since 1996; what are the prospects for improvement; and whether Export Credit Guarantee cover will be made available for this business.[HL1104]

Lord Sainsbury of Turville: The level of UK Trade has grown since 1996 as set out in the table below.

Georgia19961997199819992000
UK imports (£m)0.5791.2573.2223.6714.22
UK exports (£m)3.78412.1020.99114.6812.20
Total trade (£m)4.36313.35724.11318.3526.42

Georgia remains a relatively small market for UK goods. The outlook for trade with Georgia will depend on the economic situation and continued reform in the country. If the Baku-Tblisi-Ceyhan oil pipeline from Azerbaijan were to proceed, this would be likely to increase the level of UK goods and services to Georgia.

ECGD medium/long term cover is not currently available for Georgia. ECGD continues to monitor developments in the economy.




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