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Ministerial Discussions

Volume 631: debated on Thursday 23 November 2017

5. What recent discussions he has had with the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy. (902505)

The Department for International Trade has overall responsibility for both inward direct investment into the UK from abroad and outward direct investment from the UK to markets overseas. Officials in my Department and the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy have numerous discussions on how we can support our businesses. DIT is currently undertaking an export strategy to better understand the needs of businesses seeking to export, as well as identifying those opportunities via the website.

Exporting manufacturing businesses in north Wales such as Magellan Aerospace and Airbus are world-beating organisations, but they desperately need infrastructure, investment and support from the Government to face the challenges ahead. Why are this Government so reluctant to invest in and support north Wales?

I believe that a north Wales growth deal was announced in the Budget. It is also important to remember that the industrial strategy will be announced next week. That will talk about exactly how we can improve the infrastructure to support the great businesses in north Wales that the hon. Gentleman represents very well.

I have noticed a phenomenon of what I will call inconsistent bobbing in the Chamber. A Member bobs once and thinks that that is sufficient signal of a desire to participate. Repeated bobbing has always been required, as the hon. Member for Huddersfield (Mr Sheerman) can well testify. I encourage the hon. Member for East Renfrewshire (Paul Masterton) to increased athleticism.

Thank you, Mr Speaker, and apologies.

With whisky exports worth £4 billion a year, has the Minister discussed with the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy how we can capitalise on the export success story of Scottish whisky?

Scottish whisky is one of our greatest export success stories, and my hon. Friend is right to say that it is worth £4 billion a year. It is this Department that leads, in every sense, on promoting exports of food and drink across the world. With the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, we look, in terms of agricultural exports, at where we have market access and at standards. We have to agree that separately.