§ Mr. Ian Taylor
To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what measures the Government propose to take to enhance the competitive environment in the UK for divisions of multinational companies to stimulate them to continue to make major investments in the UK, with particular reference to those operating in the ice-cream industry. 
§ Dr. Howells
This Government aim to ensure that the UK is an economy where both indigenous and overseas-owned companies can thrive and compete effectively in world markets. This can only be achieved by maintaining macro-economic stability, and fair and open markets which promote competition. In addition, as detailed in our Competitiveness White Paper launched in December last year, we are actively pursuing a wide range of measures designed to promote the UK as a leading knowledge driven economy.
The UK's strong position as an environment for business continues to be demonstrated by our record levels of inward investment success. We are the market leader for inward investment in Europe, with over 30 per cent. of the total, and second only to the US in terms of inward investment stock.