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Volume 176: debated on Wednesday 18 July 1990

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To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if he will make a statement on short-termism in British finance and industry.

Like my right hon. predecessor, to whom I pay tribute, I recognise the importance of this issue. Companies' ability to invest in the long term is a function of their profitability. The profitability of British industry has returned of late to the highest levels for 20 years and business investment has consequently reached record levels.