§ Mr. Dudley Smith
asked the Secretary of State for Industry (1) if he is satisfied that there are sufficient safeguards covering inward investment proposals, as between the Government and their agencies, to ensure that such proposals broadly support Great Britain's industrial strategy objectives and that they do not have disruptive effects upon a particular sector or its suppliers; and if he will make a statement;
(2) whether he has established any ground rules for application to inward investment proposals, to ensure that these proposals are in the overall national interest.
§ Mr. MacGregor
I am satisfied that our policy on inward investment is consistent with our regional and industrial policies. We do not discriminate against foreign-owned enterprises established in the United Kingdom. Indeed, we offer a general welcome to foreign companies making direct investments in Britain. However, in considering applications for discretionary Government financial assistance for projects anywhere in Great Britain, the benefits to the national and regional economies are carefully weighed; this enables account to be taken of the industrial and employment effects of each project. Each case is considered on its merits in the light of published criteria, and I am satisfied that all Departments and Government-sponsored agencies are aware of the need to consider the potential impact of incoming projects on existing enterprises.