SOUTH Basildon and East Thurrock MP Stephen Metcalfe rose on the floor of the house to ask the Business Secretary, Vince Cable to help local businesses in his constituency who are experiencing payment difficulties.
Mr Metcalfe said: “A businessman in my constituency has traded successfully in north Africa for many years, but now does not know when his invoices will be paid, which affects his cash flow and business viability. Will my right hon. Friend consider introducing some form of payment guarantee scheme that will give SMEs the confidence to increase their share of world trade in the knowledge that they will be paid for it?”
Vincent Cable (Secretary of State, Business, Innovation and Skills; Twickenham, Liberal Democrat)
I am aware of the firm that my hon. Friend describes and of its difficulties in Libya. If companies are operating in difficult markets, such as Libya, they are advised to take out trade insurance. Where the market cannot provide that, the Export Credits Guarantee Department will underwrite it. We are expanding the range of ECGD products and the Treasury has authorised payments to companies in Libya for which insurance is due.