Select Committee on Trade and Industry Annxes to the Report

Follow-up Questions


It would be helpful to have an account of efforts made to encourage developments in RDAs learnt from the experience of territorial agencies in inward investment

  Exchanges on best practice are achieved mainly through the Committee on Overseas Promotion (COP) mechanism. For example the National Agencies, along with the English Regional Development Agencies meet regularly around the UK with Invest UK to discuss quality standards and continuous improvements in the preparation of client presentations—the so called IBIS (Invest UK Information System) process. The Welsh Development Agency has taken the lead on design presentational aspects.

  Similarly at the COP Awayday last year, the National Agencies and the RDAs discussed future trends and marketing strategies, and exchanged experiences. Locate in Scotland, in particular, outlined its activities on developing clusters and knowledge management. The Industrial Development Board for Northern Ireland (IDBNI) and the Welsh Development Agency (WDA) also touched on the challenge of ensuring a more even spread of prosperity throughout Northern Ireland and Wales.


A note on the outcome of discussions with the COP and the English Forum on benchmarking among the RDAs and other UK agencies would be helpful

  All National Agencies and Regional Development Agencies, including Invest UK follow the standard COP Output Measures definitions. These are intended to enable all Development Agencies to work on the same basis, so as to ensure consistency in reporting of "successes", and some measure of benchmarking performance across the whole network. COP members are required to report annually on output measures, in line with the format at Appendix A.

  In addition the aftercare benchmarking group (comprising the English regions and the territorial agencies) meets together to discuss benchmarking and share best practice on a quarterly basis. They are beginning to address the issue of qualitative output measures of aftercare activity to demonstrate the value added they contribute. This group also acts as a forum for exchanging best practice with the National Agencies, formally through presentations and informally through networking and sharing experience.

  Invest UK is not a member of the English Forum, which consists of the Directors/Heads of Inward Investment in the RDAs as well as the East of England Investment Agency and London First Centre. We understand that earlier this year, the English Forum agreed in principle to exchange more information, in such areas as staffing and sources of funding. Further work is to be undertaken and discussed at their Autumn meeting. In addition, the East and West Midlands RDAs have set up joint overseas operations in the US and Japan, and the three Northern RDAs (the North East, North West and Yorkshire and Humberside) have also similarly set up a collaborative overseas operation in the UK.


It would be helpful to have a note on the extent to which attraction of inward investment from within the UK was addressed in drawing up the concordat, and on progress in implementing the concordat

  The Concordat on Financial Assistance to Industry (FAI) sets out UK wide arrangements for consultation on financial assistance cases, when major potential projects are internationally mobile or are mobile within the United Kingdom. The Concordat applies to new inward investors, inward investors who are already established in the UK, and indigenous British companies seeking financial support for a new investment or a re-investment.

  The Concordat was included in the Devolution Command Paper (CM 4444), published on 1 October 1999. It has been agreed by the UK Government and the three Devolved Administrations, and will be applied across the UK. The Concordat envisages a system of financial limits on all assistance classified as state aid, and arrangements for notifying projects which could be the subject of such assistance. The arrangements covered by the Concordat provide for consultation and agreement between interested parties where two or more parts of the UK are in competition for a major company investment.

  Under the Chairmanship of the Cabinet Office, the parties to the Concordat are currently discussing how the financial and other arrangements will work in practice.

previous page contents next page

House of Commons home page Parliament home page House of Lords home page search page enquiries index

© Parliamentary copyright 2001
Prepared 18 January 2001