HC Deb 30 January 1968 vol 757 c277W
Mr. Ford

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he is aware that the present restrictions on overseas investment are impairing the establishment of overseas sales organisations which are urgently needed by British exporters; and whether he will take action to remedy this.

Mr. Roy Jenkins

In present circumstances we cannot afford any general relaxation of the stringent controls of overseas investment financed from U.K. resources. But as part of the export drive I am authorising a change which will allow access within limits to official exchange up to £50,000 or 50 per cent. of the total investment (whichever is more) for projects outside the Sterling Area which are directly concerned with promoting exports of goods or services, provided.that the prospective benefits to the United Kingdom balance of payments will equal or exceed the total cost of the investment within eighteen months and will continue thereafter. This will help exporters and the cost to the reserves should quickly be recouped in additional export earnings.