HC Deb 03 June 1998 vol 313 c234W
20. Mr. Dismore

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development if she will make a statement on progress on the multilateral agreement on investment and its impact on developing countries. [42517]

Clare Short

The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Ministers, meeting at the end of April, reaffirmed their commitment to a successful and timely conclusion of the negotiations on the Multilateral Agreement on Investment (MAI), and to seeking broad participation in it. The next meeting of the negotiating group will be in October 1998. Ministers also affirmed their commitment to pursuing an active dialogue with non-member countries, including on their development interests. The independent study on the development implications of the MAI commissioned by my Department earlier this year concluded that the MAI could have a positive developmental impact, if appropriate arrangements are made for developing countries to accede to the Agreement. The OECD Secretariat is now carrying out further analytical work on the MAI and development. Officials from my Department are in close touch with the OECD Secretariat, and will continue to contribute actively as this analytical work moves forward.

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