§ Lord Shepherd
asked Her Majesty's Government:
(i) What is the total aid provided to Bangladesh for the years 1979, 1980 and 1981 and the proposed figure for 1982;
(i) whether they will confirm that Bangladesh companies and individuals are allowed to participate in the business life of the United Kingdom subject only to regulations appropriate to the class of business; and
(iii) what action they have taken and propose to take following the Bangladesh Government's proposals which discriminate against United Kingdom companies.
§ The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Lord Trefgarne)
Total United Kingdom bilateral aid provided to Bangladesh is as follows:
1979 £33.6 million, 1980 £35.0 million and 1981 £28.7 million (estimated). The planning target figure for 1982 has not yet been decided.
Bangladesh individuals are entitled to participate fully in the business life of the United Kingdom subject to the normal regulations covering operation of their type of business provided that, if they set up business as a branch of an established overseas parent, they register under the terms of Part 10 of the Companies Act.
The new regulations proposed by the Bangladesh Government in connection with indenting businesses apply to all foreign companies. They are not, therefore, discriminatory but one British company is known to be especially adversely affected. The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Trade raised the question with the High Commissioner for Bangladesh at a meeting in London on 29th October last, and representations continue to be made to Bangladesh Ministers by our High Commission in Dacca.