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Investment

Volume 178: debated on Friday 12 October 1990

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10.

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer when he last met the Governor of the Bank of England to discuss levels of investment.

My right hon. Friend meets the Governor regularly and discusses a range of issues.

Will my right hon. Friend confirm not only that investment in this country has risen by 40 per cent. in the past three years but that in the past 10, investment in the United Kingdom has risen faster than in any other industrialised country except for Japan? Will he also confirm that, on current trends, investment in the United Kingdom economy in 1990 will be no less than 40 per cent. greater. in real terms, than it was in the so-called halcyon days of the previous Labour Government?

My hon. Friend is right. Business investment in the past three years has risen by 44 per cent., and in the 1980s, it rose faster than in any other G7 country except Japan.

When the Minister meets the Governor of the Bank of England, will he be reinforcing the view of the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry that there is a deal-making culture in the City that hurts industry and investment?

That is a matter for my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry.

When my hon. Friend meets the Governor of the Bank of England, will he discuss with him the fact that the greater proportion of foreign investment coming into the EEC comes to Britain, as opposed to the continental countries?

My hon. Friend is right. Under this Government and over the past 10 years, Britain has proved an extremely attractive place for foreign investment.