HC Deb 29 April 1998 vol 311 c156W
23. Mr. Chaytor

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what plans she has to protect the interests of developing countries within the continuing negotiations on the multilateral agreement on investment. [39083]

Clare Short

My Department's report on the development implications of the Multilateral Agreement on Investment (MAI) was presented to our negotiating partners and has been warmly welcomed for its contribution to discussion of how the interests of developing countries may be accommodated by the MAI. It was agreed that the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Secretariat should conduct further analytical work on the MAI and development, and officials from my Department will be contributing to that process. Yesterday, OECD Ministers reaffirmed their commitment to a successful and timely conclusion of the MAI negotiations. Ministers also agreed to pursue active dialogue with non-Member countries, including their development interests. The period of assessment and consultation before the next meeting of the Negotiating Group in October provides an opportunity to continue analysis and consultation.

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