asked the Secretary of State for Industry how many jobs were created by overseas investment in the United Kingdom during 1979–80 and 1980–81; how many jobs were lost by British companies producing the same or similar commodities; and whether he considers that any of these jobs were lost as a result of unfair competition.
§ Mr. MacGregor
It is not possible to provide figures in precisely the form requested. We expect more than 10,000 jobs to be created in the United Kingdom as a result of inward investment projects started or firmly decided upon during 1980; the corresponding figure for 1979 was more than 7,000. Statistics for jobs gained and lost cannot be related to the production of individual commodities. Any specific allegations of deliberate unfair competition would be a matter for my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Trade and the Director General of Fair Trading. It is, however, essential to remember that the British economy is an open one; firms in this country, whatever their origins, have to be able to compete in an international market place.