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Volume 404: debated on Wednesday 30 April 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if she will make a statement on the effect on the UK economy of the growth of multinational supermarket chains. [105899]

As part of the process of globalisation and greater integration of the world economy, there has been a trend by some of the largest food retailers, in the UK and other countries, to expand their business beyond the borders of their country of origin. We welcome overseas investment that improves competition in markets, which is to the benefit of consumers and the UK economy as a whole.