HC Deb 04 November 2002 vol 392 cc145-6W
Tim Loughton

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if she will make a statement on the progress of her Department's review on registration of civil relationships. [78354]

Ms Hewitt

[holding answer 31 October 2002]: Civil partnership registration, and associated rights and responsibilities, raise a number of complex issues which have prompted a growing debate within society. The Government are watching this debate with interest.

These issues have potentially significant financial and administrative implications. The Government are now examining the issues in detail. My Department coordinates this work across all those Government Departments that have an interest.

The Government cannot determine its response to any proposal for change before the completion of this work.

Dr. Cable

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what the United Kingdom's foreign direct investment share of the EU was in 2001; and if she will make a statement. [75123]

Ms Hewitt

Figures for 2001 published in September by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) confirm the UK's premier position in Europe. The UK had $496,776 million stock of inward investment, second only to the US. I welcome the UNCTAD findings. These reflect the hard work done by My Noble Friend the Minister for Trade and Investment, Invest-UK in British Trade International and the Regional Development Agencies in seeking out inward investment in these more difficult conditions and promoting the UK as a top venue. A recent example of this work is the announcement by the ICT Group of Pennsylvania of plans to open a new customer contact centre in Uxbridge, West London creating over 200 jobs.

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