§ Ms Kelly
To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what discussions he has had with the 707W Minister of Enterprise, Trade and Investment in the Northern Ireland Assembly about the number of (a) business start ups and (b) amount of inward investment in each parliamentary constituency in Northern Ireland since the signing of the Belfast Agreement; and if he will make a statement. 
§ Mr. Caborn
My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry has had no official discussions with the Minister for Enterprise in the Northern Ireland Assembly. Minister and officials are, however, in regular contact with colleagues in each of the devolved Administrations.
The main source of business start up information is VAT registration data. Not all businesses are VAT registered, however, in particular, if they do not have a turnover above £52,000 per annum. Taking this into account, for 1998 and 1999 the number of such start-ups with a turnover of more than £52,000 per annum in Northern Ireland is 3,685 and 3,565 respectively. Such information is not readily available by parliamentary constituency.