The DIT’s inward investment goal is to maintain the UK’s position as the No. 1 holder of foreign investment in Europe. That is why I am delighted to say that, according to the latest Office for National Statistics figures, the UK’s inward foreign direct investment stock stood at £1.6 trillion at the end of 2019. According to the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development—the global equivalent of the ONS—the UK maintained its No. 1 status for FDI stock in Europe at the end of that year.
What an excellent question. My Department is committed to ensuring that exports and investment bolster our levelling-up agenda. That is why we operate a key account management programme, to support existing investors in priority levelling-up areas. D2N2 LEP—it sounds like something from “Star Trek”, but it is my hon. Friend’s local enterprise partnership—is currently receiving funding under that programme to identify foreign owned companies across the LEP area, including in Bassetlaw, which can be assisted with growth plans precisely to retain an increased number of jobs. Since March, we have also placed seven new officers in key markets overseas, who are specifically tasked with promoting investment opportunities in the midlands, not least in Bassetlaw.