HC Deb 07 December 1988 vol 143 c306
11. Mr. Jacques Arnold

To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster how many calls have been received by his Department's 1992 hotline; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Maude

DTI's 1992 hotline has received over 105,000 calls since it opened on 18 March.

Mr. Arnold

Does my hon. Friend consider that it is important that the hotline should bring to the attention of business men the significance of the enterprise initiative and of the many ways in which they can be given assistance in responding to 1992?

Mr. Maude

My hon. Friend is right. There are a number of ways in which help and advice can be given to businesses as they adapt for the changes coming with the completion of the single market. No business in the length and breadth of the United Kingdom will be wholly exempt from the changes, and every one of them needs to look to its laurels to ensure that it is able to take advantage of the opportunities that will be forthcoming.

Mr. Harry Greenway

Is my hon. Friend aware that many businesses all over the world are considering coming to this country as a means of building a bridge into Europe with 1992 in prospect? Is he in favour of that as a means of inspiring more business and more employment in this country, and if so, what is he doing about it?

Mr. Maude

We have always had an open attitude to businesses which seek to establish themselves in this country. We have welcomed that and it has been enormously beneficial to us. It is a process that works both ways. The United Kingdom is now the second largest holder of external assets in the world, second only to Japan. That is a consequence of our having that open attitude to investment flowing both into and out of the United Kingdom.