Memorandum submitted by the Government
1. The Government welcomes the Welsh Affairs
Committee Inquiry into the promotion of Wales abroad. Post devolution
Wales remains an integral part of the United Kingdom so that,
in addition to the promotional activities of the National Assembly
for Wales and its own agencies, the promotion of all aspects of
Welsh lifeeconomic, social and culturalremains a
high priority for various government departments and agencies.
2. Current activity on these fronts very
much follows the pattern of that which was taking place before
devolution. However, reflecting the establishment of the Assembly,
the relationship between Government Departments and the Assembly
is now codified in the overarching Memorandum of Understanding
(the MOU) (Annex C) and supplementary agreements between the UK
Government, Scottish Ministers, the Cabinet of the National Assembly
for Wales and the Executive Committee of the Northern Ireland
Assembly. There is also a series of bilateral concordats between
the Assembly and individual Government Departments.
3. Broadly the major areas of promotion
of Wales relate to international relations, including EU negotiations;
trade; commerce; and cultural and social activities. This is achieved
promotion and representation of Wales
by overseas diplomatic missions;
considering Wales when formulating
UK policy for EU and international negotiations;
the support of export activity;
the promotion of Wales as inward
the promotion of Wales as a tourist
the development of cultural and social
links and associations.
This memorandum describes the activities of
the lead UK departments in these fields.
5. The role of the Secretary of State for
Wales and of his Department is to represent Wales in the UK Government,
to represent the UK Government in Wales and to promote and defend
the devolution settlement. Much of this work is behind the scenes,
ensuring that the Welsh angle is adequately represented during
Cabinet committee discussions of subjects, including EU and international
policy issues, so that the UK Government collective line adequately
represents Welsh interests.
Promotion of Welsh interests in formulation of
UK Government policy
6. Between them, the Secretary of State
and Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State sit on 23 Cabinet Committees
and are also represented on various new ad hoc groups, where they
ensure that the Welsh perspective is taken into account when UK
policy is formulated. Some of these committees, such as (E)DOP
(European issues) relate directly to the promotion of the interests
of the UK and its constituent parts in the European or international
arena. However, there is often a European dimension and sometimes
also an international dimension to the work of other Cabinet Committees,
such as MISC 6 (biotechnology and genetic modification), EA (economic
affairs) or ENV (environment). In such cases, Welsh interests
can also be promoted overseas, although more indirectly, when
the UK pursues policies and negotiating lines internationally
or in European fora which have been agreed domestically in these
Cabinet committees attended by Wales Office Ministers.
7. In addition, the Wales Office also contributes
to interdepartmental Ministerial correspondence in a wide range
of policy areas to ensure that Welsh interests are taken on board
and that the Assembly is adequately consulted in accordance with
the Memorandum of Understanding and overarching concordats.
8. Specific areas where the Wales Office
has played a public role in ensuring the promotion of Welsh interests
when a UK-wide policy is being formulated in relation to European/overseas
the UK's Structural Funds map for
Objective 2 (agreed in partnership with the National Assembly
and DTI), which was formally approved by the European Commission
in March 2000; and
the UK's Assisted Areas map for 2000-06,
formally approved by the European Commission in July 2000, where
the Wales Office carried out the public consultation in Wales
on the UK Government's proposals for the mapagain developed
in close partnership with the National Assembly and DTI.
9. There is, however, also an important
public element of the role of the Wales Office, in helping build
new kinds of partnership between Cardiff, London and Brussels
and Wales and other regions of Europe. The Wales Office therefore
seeks to promote a greater understanding of Wales and the devolution
settlement among other countries, regions and European decision-makers.
10. For example, Wales Office Ministers
have held meetings, organised with the assistance of the FCO,
with the Irish Taoiseach, the Minister Presidents of Flanders
and Wallonia, representatives of the four Motor Regions (Baden-Württemberg,
Rhône-Alpes, Lombardy and Catalonia), with which Wales has
links, and with relevant European Commissioners.
11. More recently, the Secretary of State
opened the inaugural Belgo-British conference in Bruges entitled
"Globalisation and Regionalisation; What are States for?"
on 19-21 October. His speech (Annex A), considered, from the perspective
of a British politician from Wales Belgo-British relations; the
position of the small so-called "stateless" nations
in today's European Union; and the position of the larger "nationless"
states. It also looked at Welsh regional links and the levels
of decision-making in the EU of the future: EU-level, national
level and regional level.
12. The Secretary of State also spoke at
the closing session of the devolution conference in Valencia entitled
"Polycentric Europe: Regional Government in Europe"
(Annex B). In this speech, the Secretary of State explained the
Welsh experience of devolution and stressed the close links and
common interests which exist between the UK and Spainand
between the devolved Governments in both countries.
13. There is also a group of UK Ministers
and Ministers from the devolved administrations, chaired by Foreign
Office Minister of State, Keith Vaz MP, and attended by the Secretary
of State and the First Minister of Wales. This group provides
FCO-led co-ordination on both step change and public presentation
of EU issues. The FCO provides support and advice to Departments
and the devolved administrations in achieving this. Wales Office
Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, David Hanson MP, will
be participating in an FCO-led Ministerial visit to Bratislava
and Prague in November, which will help promote links between
the UK and Slovakia and the Czech Republic. The presence of a
Wales Office Minister will also help raise Wales' profile and
the profile of the devolution settlement.
14. Wales Office Ministers have also hosted
visitors from European dignitaries with an interest in, amongst
other areas, the impact of devolution on UK policies. These have
included Mr Reinhold Bocklet, Bavarian State Minister for European
Affairs and Professor Doctor Kurt Biedenkopf, Minister President
of Saxony and President of the Bundestag.
Other Wales Office activities
15. Wales Office Ministers are in close
contact with other UK Departments and agencies and with Assembly-sponsored
public bodies such as the Welsh Development Agency. They work
in partnership with them and the Assembly to emphasise, for example,
to potential overseas investors, that both the UK Government and
the National Assembly are committed to Wales and the Welsh economy.
16. Ministers have met with companies interested
in potential inward investment, at their request. Although primary
responsibility lies with Team Wales partners including the Assembly,
Invest UK and the WDA, Ministers have promoted Wales as an inward
investment location whilst directing companies to appropriate
officials within Team Wales and central Government Departments.
17. Following on from the UK-US Conference
hosted by the Chancellor of the Exchequer and the US Ambassador,
Mr David Hanson MP, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State, hosted
a visit of US entrepreneurs to Wales in July. The entrepreneurs
in question were visiting all parts of the UK with a view to offering
their advice and support in the regeneration of deprived areas.
18. Under the Government of Wales Act 1998
and Scotland Act 1998, the UK Government remains responsible for
international relations, including relations with the EU. In particular
the FCO continues to be responsible for the foreign policy of
the UK and for promoting the international interests of the UK.
By extension the FCO missions abroad continue to serve the interests
of the whole UK.
19. The conduct of international relations
has implications for the devolved administrations. Two of the
Supplementary Agreements to the MOU about International Relations
concordat and the European Union concordat, cover the FCO's relationship
with the devolved administrations (Annexes D & E).
20. We believe that the arrangements the
FCO and the devolved administrations have agreed for implementing
the concordats are working well.
Promotion of Welsh interests in policy formulation
21. The FCO has ensured that the National
Assembly for Wales receives relevant information and FCO departments
are consulting and involving the National Assembly on policy matters
where appropriate. Assembly officials routinely receive copies
of Whitehall correspondence establishing the UK position to take
in EU negotiations on issues which fall within the Assembly's
remit. As a result, the Assembly is fully involved in the formulation
of UK policy position on these issues and the UK position will
be formed in knowledge of the Assembly's view.
22. In addition, UK Government Departments
provide briefing for all UK MEPs, including Welsh MEPs, on issues
being considered in the European Parliament, thereby keeping them
informed and better able to formulate their positions.
23. The FCO is engaged in public diplomacy
activity to help promote Wales. Recent activity includes an FCO
publication on Wales, a poster promotion on Cardiff, and sections
on Wales in a range of other bookletsexamples are attached
at Annex D. In addition, the FCO recently arranged and funded
a visit to Cardiff by 10 overseas journalists, to look at devolution
issues in Wales.Items on Wales are regularly included in the radio
and TV programmes produced daily by the FCO and offered to broadcasters
world wide. The Welsh language will be featured in a forthcoming
FCO film series. FCO public diplomacy aims to promote creativity
and innovation in Britaina range of exciting developments
in Wales means that Welsh items will continue to feature prominently
in all its output.
24. One of the FCO's objectives is to increase
the impact of and respect for British foreign policy and values.
This also means ensuring effective international public presentation
and providing posts with appropriate information to help them
present a positive image of a changing Britain. This has been
achieved through providing guidance to posts on devolution developments
and the impact it has on posts; encouraging posts to include a
devolution/constitutional change element in their public diplomacy
objectives; and assisting in arranging visits by senior Embassy
staff to the devolved capitals. We have also produced an FCO webpage
explaining devolution in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland,
to be used by our posts overseas. Ministers are the best means
for achieving our public diplomacy objectives. For example, Mr
Hain MP, FCO Minister, visited Cardiff in July 2000 to address
the Institute of welsh Affairs on "Wales and the World".
25. The FCO also hosted a reception for
the London Diplomatic Community last year to inform ambassadors
and other senior diplomats about the new constitutional framework
in the UK, and in particular encouraging them to see for themselves
the new devolution arrangements in Cardiff and Edinburgh.
26. Recent examples of direct FCO assistance
Helping the National Assembly for Wales to establish
the National Assembly for Wales Brussels Office
this Office has a close working relationship
with the UK Permanent Representation in Brussels (UKRep), with
the specific aim of influencing EU decision making and policy
development, while implementing the National Assembly's commitment
to working with the UK Government in Europe. Co-operation between
UKRep and the National Assembly for Wales Office in Brussels has
been very positive and the FCO will continue to work to develop
and deepen this relationship;
the Office was opened on 19 September
2000 by the Rt Hon Neil Kinnock, Vice President of the European
Commission, Mr David Hanson MP, Parliamentary Under Secretary
of State, Wales Office, the Rt Hon Rhodri Morgan AM MP, First
Secretary of the National Assembly for Wales and Mr Nigel Sheinwald,
the United Kingdom Permanent Representative to the European Union.
The opening was attended by representatives of the UK Government;
the National Assembly for Wales; the European Parliament, Local
Government, the WDA and various commercial organisations; and
according diplomatic status to the
Assembly Office in Brussels and its two full time staff so that
the office can conduct its business of promoting Welsh interests
without constraint. As part of the diplomatic representation of
the UK, officials of the Assembly Office in Brussels also have
access to information and policy advice from UKRep desk officers
and the Head of the National Assembly for Wales Brussels Office
attends weekly Section Heads meetings at UKRep with the Permanent
Representative. He also has regular ad hoc meetings with
UKRep staff on issues of particular interest to the Assembly.
Participation in EU negotiations
ensuring that Assembly officials
and Assembly Secretaries are able to attend relevant negotiations
as part of the UK team: for example, the attendance of the Welsh
Agriculture Secretary at the EU Agriculture Council on the modulation
of farm subsidies. The FCO is keen to see Assembly Secretaries
attending EU Council meetings, and other meetings in Brussels,
when the Assembly wishes to be so involved.
27. The FCO also encourages secondments
from the National Assembly to UKRep and other EU institutions.
For example, Assembly officials regularly participate in the 6
monthly Civil Service stagiaire schemes to work in the institutions
of the European Union, and are invited to apply for longer term
postings in the EU institutionsfor example as "Detached
National Experts"or to apply for secondments in UKRep
itself. The National Assembly for Wales is kept informed of all
vacancies by the Cabinet Office European Union Staffing Unit.
Overseas visits and links
28. Wales has existing links with European
regions such as Catalonia, Baden-Württemberg, Lombardy and
Rhône-Alpes. Recently the FCO was involved in the promotion
of Wales during the Welsh Cultural Week in Rhône-Alpes.
The British Consulate-General in Lyon arranged a programme of
meetings and visits which helped the First Secretary of the National
Assembly for Wales to make important contacts and promote Wales
to a wide and influential audience. The British Consulate-General
in Milan has also been assisting the National Assembly for Wales
organise the Welsh Public Exhibition to be held in Milan in November,
and the agenda for the First Secretary's programme with the Regional
Government of Lombardy.
29. The FCO provided support for the visit
to the Republic of Ireland by the Secretary of State for Wales
and Assembly First Secretary. This highly successful partnership
visit included meetings with the President and the Taoiseach.
30. The FCO co-operates with the Assembly
on furthering its links with New South Wales, Australia. The British
Consulate-General in Sydney was involved in arranging the Assembly
First Secretary's visit to Australia, during which Mr Morgan reaffirmed
the Memorandum of Understanding on education, science and technology
and the arts between New South Wales and Wales. The Consul-General
also helped arrange for the First Secretary to address both Houses
of the Legislative Assembly in Sydney.
31. Other examples of FCO activity in promoting
Wales abroad are:
organising the Welsh Cultural Week
in Brunei to promote Wales, with the help of the British Council
and the Welsh Higher Education International Liaison Association;
inviting the Athletic Association
of Wales to send a Junior Team to Sarajevo as part of the "Britain
and Bosnia" festival held in June 2000, an event which was
very well received and played some part in encouraging Bosnia
to include four track and field athletes in their nine-strong
squad for the Sydney Olympics; and
assisting and co-operating with the
Province of Chubut, Argentina, which was settled by Welsh emigrants
during the 19th century, and where there remains a significant
Welsh-speaking community today. Our Embassy in Buenos Aires has
been involved in projects which have contributed towards local
quality of life, as well as to Welsh language education. There
is also an on-going penal reform project, which saw Provincial
judges visit Wales in 1997, and a return visit of Welsh Magistrates
to Chubut is being considered for 2001.
Trade and inward investment
32. Promoting trade and investment is the
FCO's single largest activity overseas, accounting for 39 per
cent of frontline overseas FCO staff activity. Around 1,400 commercial
staff, based in over 200 embassies and other diplomatic posts
overseas, operate under the direction of British Trade International,
a combined FCO/DTI organisation. British Trade International brings
together the work of the FCO and the Department of Trade and Industry
in support of British trade and investment overseas, both manufacturing
and services sectors. Examples of the help given to Wales are
described in the separate section on BTI.
33. Our posts have been closely involved
in a series of trade missions made over the last year by the Assembly
First Secretary to promote Welsh business with, for example, Kuwait,
Japan, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, and for forthcoming trade missions
to Spain, Canada, China, Argentina, and South Africa.
34. For example, the British Embassy in
Tokyo, in co-operation with the Welsh Development Agency and Wales
Trade International, organised the Welsh First Secretary's recent
visit to Japan. His visit reflected the wide and enduring range
of Welsh contacts in Japan, concentrating on promoting the new
Wales, politically and economically, to a Japanese audience. In
addition to trade promotion, his visit focused on Japanese investment
in Wales, the opportunities for collaboration with Welsh centres
of academic expertise, high technology developments in Wales,
tourism, Welsh devolution and Wales' place in the new knowledge
35. Our posts in Korea and Japan in particular
continue to promote Welsh business interests and help to ensure
that inward investment continues to benefit the Welsh economy.
36. The FCO also operates the Chevening
scholarship scheme for foreign students wishing to study in the
UK. Overseas students are placed in Universities around the UK
including over 140 student placements in Welsh Universities since
1997. The UK Government sees scholarship programmes as good opportunities
to raise the awareness of British culture and values and encourage
a sympathetic understanding of British interests abroad. The Chevening
scholars are selected on their potential ability to rise to positions
as future leaders, decision makers and opinion formers in their
own countries. FCO Ministers have hosted various Chevening scholarship
receptions around the UK including Cardiff; the most recent Chevening
reception in Wales was hosted by the late Derek Fatchett MP at
Cardiff Castle in 1998 and a further one is being planned for
early next year.
37. The FCO and its posts also support Wales
through the British Tourist Authority (BTA). BTA promotes tourism
for England, Wales and Scotland, and the Wales Tourist Board (WTB)
has representation within the BTA. The FCO liaises direct with
the WTB, where necessary, for example when producing booklets
on Wales. FCO missions overseas also assist in promoting the constituent
parts of the UK through the British Council; this is described
in a separate section of this memorandum.
38. A Concordat between DTI and the Cabinet
of the National Assembly for Wales was agreed and published earlier
this year. It sets out how the two organisations will exchange
information and work together on matters of mutual interest.
39. DTI's major role in promoting Wales
abroad lies in the field of exports from, and inward investment
to, Wales. The lead in such activities is taken by British Trade
International (see separate section below).
40. When DTI promotes Wales abroad, it tends
to be as part of wider exercises to promote Wales and other parts
of the United Kingdom rather than through activities aimed solely
at the promotion of Wales. In such cases, Welsh interests are
taken into account through discussions with the National Assembly
for Wales in accordance with the Memorandum of Understanding and
41. Following devolution, there has been
no reduction in DTI activities to promote Wales abroad but there
has been an increased role for Wales, through the Assembly, to
promote Wales abroad.
Links to the National Assembly for Wales and the
Wales Office activities
42. DTI's role links to those of the National
Assembly for Wales and the Wales Office in two areas ie (A) where
DTI promotes Wales abroad and (B) where DTI activities affect
the Assembly's role in promoting Wales abroad. For example:
(A) Where DTI promotes Wales abroad
An example is the Small Business Service's promotion
of the Smart scheme to overseas representatives. Smart is a grant
scheme to support the identification of opportunities for, and
the development of, new innovative products and processes by small
and medium sized enterprises (SMEs). Responsibility for administering
the scheme in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland lies with the
devolved administrations and over time the individual schemes
in each country have changed slightly to meet local needs. Nevertheless,
when the Small Business Service (SBS) promotes Smart to overseas
representatives, it is always mentioned that it is available in
some form throughout the UK. Current literature mentions this
and provides contact points in the devolved administrations. Similar
information is available from the Smart web site. To ensure that
activities are co-ordinated with those of the Assembly, managers
from each of the devolved administrations and SBS meet twice yearly
at "policy workshops".
(B) Where DTI activities affect the Assembly's
role in promoting Wales abroad
An example is the designation of Assisted Areas
and its effect on the Assembly's activities in attracting inward
investors by offering financial assistance. The Assisted Areas
map shows those areas where state aid may be paid to individual
companies in accordance with European law. The main form of such
aid is Regional Selective Assistance (RSA), which is managed in
Wales by the National Assembly. Such funding can be used to create
or safeguard jobs in most manufacturing sectors and service sectors.
It is available to both national and foreign firms, and may be
a major factor in attracting inward investment.
In common with all other Member States, the
UK recently carried out a review of its Assisted Areas map, following
the publication of new Guidelines on National Regional Aid. DTI
led the UK review. The UK was faced with a number of constraints,
including a reduction in the overall population ceiling of 25
per cent from the previous map. During the review process, DTI
held regular discussions with the Wales Office and the National
Assembly for Wales, and the Wales Office carried out the public
consultations in Wales on the proposed map as part of the wider
UK consultation process.
DTI played a similar role, and consulted the
Wales Office and the Assembly in a similar manner, in the review
of the Structural Funds map.
Links with Assembly sponsored public bodies
43. The Assembly sponsored public body with
which DTI has most contact is the Welsh Development Agency (WDA).
The links with the WDA fall into two groups ie (A) provision of
advice to the WDA to help it promote Wales abroad and (B) discussions
to ensure DTI takes account of the views of the WDA when promoting
Wales abroad. For example:
(A) Provision of advice to the WDA to help it
to promote Wales abroad
For example, the remit of the Advisory, Conciliation
and Arbitration Service (ACAS) covers the whole of Great Britain.
ACAS's office in Wales has provided information and advice to
the WDA and prospective inward investors, for example, on employment
legislation, employment policies, employment relations culture
and background, pay rates and other terms and conditions of employment,
Trade Union recognition, and working patterns. In one case, an
ACAS official travelled to Korea to help the WDA to secure an
inward investment project.
In many cases, inward investors, once they have
established a presence in Wales, remain clients of ACAS for advisory
mediation services. The WDA has a policy of providing on-going
support to key inward investors. ACAS is sometimes asked by the
Agency to assist a company with employment relations problems,
even though they may well have been in Wales for some time. ACAS
also receive requests for their involvement directly from established
(B) Discussions to ensure that DTI takes account
of the views of the WDA when promoting Wales abroad
For example, DTI's Joint Environmental Markets
Unit (JEMU) promotes the UK environmental industry as a whole
abroad through a number of activities: trade missions, exhibitions,
seminars, publishing directories and case studies of UK environmental
capabilities. It also provides a range of information to the UK
industry about opportunities in world markets.
In its work to map out the UK industry and raise
its profile overseas, JEMU works closely with trade associations
and other representative bodies which are generally pan-UK in
their coverage. JEMU maintains a database of UK environmental
technology and services suppliers which is made available world-wide.
The database currently includes around 150 Welsh companies and
JEMU is working with the Welsh Development Agency to increase
Other DTI "sector Directorates" also
play a role in promoting Wales abroad. For example, Chemicals
and Biotechnology Directorate promotes chemical exports including
products from Wales, inward investment including to Wales, and
supports and helps the business competitiveness of companies located
44. DTI leads international negotiations
on behalf of the UK in a number of areas, including trade policy,
matters affecting industry and science and technology issues.
45. Under the devolution settlement, DTI
leads on UK trade policy. The UK is represented, along with other
EU Member States, by the European Commission within the World
Trade Organisation (WTO). In line with the concordat the National
Assembly for Wales is included in discussions on UK trade policy.
The DTI-led inter-departmental Trade Policy Group, which meets
monthly to discuss trade policy issues, includes representatives
from the National Assembly for Wales. The National Assembly is
also included on the Whitehall-wide distribution list for papers
circulated in connection with the EU's Article 133 Committee,
including agendas and reports from meetings.
46. More generally, the DTI consults or
liaises with the Assembly on individual issues which have potential
implications for industries in Wales. The Assisted Areas negotiations
mentioned above are one example of how this works in European
Science and technology
47. Another example relates to science and
technology and the role of the Office of Science and Technology
(OST). OST International Directorate is the UK co-ordinator for
the EU's Framework Programmes for Research, Technological Development
and Demonstration. As such it is responsible for developing the
UK negotiating position, which is based on open public consultation,
to which Welsh organisations as well as others in the UK can contribute.
It is also responsible for overall promotion of Framework, and
assistance to participants, in the UK; all promotion and assistance
work is targeted at the whole of the UK including Wales.
48. Within the Framework Programme (FP),
the EU part-funds a network of Innovation Relay Centres (IRCs)
across the EU and near accession countries. There are regional
springboards for the promotion of trans-national technology co-operation.
There are eight IRCs in the UK, including one in Cardiff, hosted
by the Welsh Development Agency. OST co-ordinates the UK elements
of the IRC network and facilitates communication between IRCs
and national contact points for FP5 programmes.
British Trade International: Overview
49. British Trade International (BTI) is
the combined FCO/DTI organisation set up following the Wilson
Review of Export Promotion last year and formally launched by
Sir David Wright and Ministers on 31 May 2000. It comprises Trade
Partners UK, which deals with trade development, trade promotion
and outward investment; and Invest UK (formerly the Invest in
Britain Bureau, IBB) which promotes the whole of UK as a location
for inward investment.
50. While Trade Partners UK has the trade
development and promotion remit for the entire United Kingdom,
our devolved partners in Wales Trade International, Scottish Trade
International (STI) and Trade International Northern Ireland (TIN),
played a full part in the development of the National Strategy
for International Trade Development and Promotion. Each of the
devolved administrations has had a seat on the BTI Board since
its inception and is represented at senior official level. This
Forum continues to prove essential for overseeing the development
of BTI's trade development and inward investment agenda.
Role of Trade Partners UK (TPUK)
51. In common with STI and TNI, Wales Trade
International has its own system of local support and services,
able to offer businesses in its region both particular help and
to call upon all that BRITISH Trade International offers through
Trade Partners UK and Invest UK, here and through the UK's extensive
network of overseas diplomatic missions. About 1,400 commercial
staff are engaged in trade promotion work overseas at a cost of
£142 million in over 200 posts and roughly 140 overseas markets
(figures taken from the Wilson review). But in addition, Wales-based
business may also apply for grants under any of the national schemes
which Trade Partners UK offers to UK businesses eg overseas trade
missions, exhibitions, the Export Explorer scheme etc. Take up
of these programmes by WTI has been particularly enthusiastic.
To date there have been three Export Explorer group visits introducing
25 companies to exporting and a further two visits are planned
for 2001-02. Devolution has not resulted in any change in the
distribution of resources available for trade development and
52. BTI has for a number of years been forging
strong links with the trade bodies in Wales, Scotland and Northern
Ireland. Devolution has bought focus to the development of Wales
Trade International, development with which BTI has been closely
involved by offering advice and best practice from, amongst others,
a number of Export Promoters. This is reinforces by personal contact
and visits at senior and working level with BTI's Regional, Business
and International Groups. Work is progressing to achieve co-branding
of all trade development and promotion work with our devolved
The role of Invest UK in relation to inward investment
53. The lead role for attracting inward
investment in Wales lies with the Welsh Development Agency (WDA)
which works in partnership with other public sector bodies in
Wales as well as with Invest-UK (formerly the Invest in Britain
54. Figures co-ordinated centrally by Invest-UK
show that since the WDA was set up in April 1983 there have been
916 decisions to invest in Wales by foreign owned companies promising
74,290 new jobs and 54,979 safeguarded jobs. Projects may be new,
expansions, mergers/acquisitions or joint ventures.
55. Europe is one of the world's focal targets
for foreign direct investment (FDI) and within Europe the UK's
record in attracting inward investment is second to none. Latest
Office for National Statistics (ONS) figures show that the stock
of inward investment into the UK has reached a record figure of
£252.4 billion at 31 March 2000, an increase of 23 per cent
over the previous year. The UK has consistently been the prime
location in Europe for inward investment and it is one of the
DTI and FCO's published objectives to maintain that position.
56. The UK's performance in 1999-2000 was
a record with Invest-UK recording 757 inward investment decisions
by overseas companies with over 134,194 associated jobs of which
over 52,500 were new jobs. Of these figures 45 projects went to
Wales with 7,724 associated jobs of which 4,108 were new jobs.
The role of Invest-UK
57. Invest-UK, working under the umbrella
of British Trade International, markets the UK abroad as an investment
location, working with its partner agencies in Wales, Scotland,
Northern Ireland and the English regions to secure projects. Britain's
Embassies and Consulates overseas are the spearhead of marketing
and promotion work to generate new inward investment opportunities.
Invest-UK is represented in Embassies and Consulates in over 35
cities around the world by staff which are dedicated to inward
investment work involving contacts at the most senior levels with
companies who are actual or potential investors in the UK.
58. Invest-UK does not itself deliver the
final location project to inward investors. That is the role of
its partners in the development agencies across the UK. The attraction
of inward investment is therefore a team effort, which also involves
local authorities, the private sector and other organisations
at the local level.
Co-operation and co-ordination
59. Invest-UK works closely with its partner
agencies, including WDA, on regional tours and briefing, research,
marketing and operation/development of the national computerised
system for handling inward investment enquiries. There is also
a close working relationship on individual projects, which has
helped secure successes for Wales.
60. This is formalised through the Committee
on Overseas Promotion (COP) which is chaired by Invest-UK's Chief
Executive and has Guidelines on procedures for Invest-UK and its
partners to work together in a co-ordinated way. The COP procedures
rely on co-operation between Invest-UK and its national and regional
partners. They primarily cover the exchange of information, to
ensure a cohesive approach at home and overseas. Posts overseas
have a major role in the co-ordination of the regional agencies
visits, marketing and other activities abroad, complementing Invest-UK's
enquiry handling co-ordination.
61. In respect of inward investment promotion,
the effects of the devolution settlements and the establishment
of the Regional Development Agencies in the English Regions have
been positive. Invest-UK promotes the whole of the UK as a location
for inward investment, working in partnership with Development
Agencies in each region and overseas. In addition to working with
Invest-UK to attract, retain and add value to inward investment,
staff in all these agencies have actively participated in the
Committee on Overseas Promotion which brings together inward investment
practitioners from throughout the UK-wide network, to discuss
operational issues, and share best practice. The WDA has continued
to make a significant contribution to the work of COP, to the
benefit of Wales and the UK network as a whole.
62. With the rapid pace of global change,
the UK has to build its international business reputation as the
business centre of Europe. In line with the Government's competitiveness
agenda Invest-UK has developed a strategy to focus more effort
on the attraction of high value, knowledge driven investment requiring
high skill levels. By positioning the UK as a base for leading
edge technologies and by emphasising our culture of innovation
and the higher education/research infrastructure which supports
it, Invest-UK aims to attract a substantial share of internationally
mobile projects, particularly those with growth potential, to
all parts of the country. This is consistent with the WDA's own
strategy set out in the Strategic Priorities listed in the WDA
Corporate Plan for 2000-03.
63. The Department for Culture, Media and
Sport's promotion of Wales abroad falls into four broad headings:
Tourism; Films; Heritage; and Sports.
64. A Concordat between DCMS and the Cabinet
of the National Assembly for Wales was agreed and published earlier
this year. It sets out how the two organisations will work together
on matters of mutual interest.
65. On devolution, the public expenditure
for promoting Britain overseas was retained in a single budget
which is the responsibility of the Secretary of State for Culture,
Media and Sport. The aim was to achieve maximum impact for Britain
as a whole, including Wales, by combined effort. DCMS funds much
of the promotion of Wales abroad as a tourist destination through
the British Tourist Authority (BTA). This is part of a wider DCMS
remit to attract overseas visitors to Britain. It is worth noting
that the Chairman of the Wales Tourist Board is a member of the
BTA board. Tourism makes a considerable economic contribution
to Wales. Spending by overnight and day visitors now amounts to
just over £2 billion (7 per cent of Welsh GDP) and tourism
supports around 100,000 jobs. In 1999, the latest year for which
firm figures are available, just over 1 million overseas visitors
to Wales spent some £269 million.
66. The way in which tourism in Wales is
being promoted is set out in detail in the BTA's evidence to the
committee. The work required of the BTA each year is set out in
a Funding Agreement between DCMS and BTA. The devolved administrations
are consulted about that Agreement and, in addition to the general
provisions on consultation provided for under the terms of the
Concordat, officials from DCMS and the devolved administrations
discuss tourism matters at regular meetings hosted on a rotating
67. A Quinquennial Review of the BTA is
currently underway. The Steering Group for the Review has concluded
that post-devolution arrangements are working well. Its Stage
One report is likely to recommend that, while the Wales Tourist
Board (WTB) sees no duplication between its work and the BTA's,
Stage Two of the Review should ensure that a satisfactory process
exists to avoid any such duplication by the BTA, Scotland and
Wales in marketing overseas.
68. The British Film Office (BFO) in Los
Angeles worked with Sgrin (Wales Media Centre) to organise the
first St David's Day Dinner in Los Angeles on 1 March 2000, subtitled
"Hollywood Wales Filman Exciting Future". The
dinner was held at the conclusion of two trade shows in which
Wales had been represented and was attended by over 100 people
drawn from the film industry, with speakers from the Welsh Development
Agency, Welsh Tourist Board, Sgrin and Paul Dimond, British Consul
General (representing BFO and British Consulate-General Los Angeles).
The food was prepared by two chefs brought over by Taste of Wales.
69. The BFO was also able to tie in publicity
(and the BAFTA LA screening) for the Welsh language Oscar nominee
Solomon & Gaenor. There are three Welsh Film CommissionsMid
Wales Film Commission, North Wales Film Commission and South Wales
Film Commissionwhich aim to attract film production work
to their areas. The three Commissions had their own stand at the
Locations Show, and received a number of solid enquiries. A smaller
dinner was also arranged to enable the UK Film Commissions to
meet US contacts.
70. The BFO also arranged for Sgrin's Executive
Director to attend the American Film Market to meet the international
and UK companies taking part and to check on distribution for
"One Of The Hollywood Ten" a film with a Welsh director
(Karl Francis) and some Welsh funding. Discussions have started
with Sgrin and BAFTA LA on a second St David's Day Event in 2001,
which the BFO will be supporting.
71. All three Welsh Film Commissions (North
Wales, Mid Wales and South Wales) are taking the opportunity of
attending a trade mission to Mumbai, India, 13-17 November 2000,
which is being organised by the Mid Yorkshire Chamber of Commerce
and focusing on the creative industries, particularly film, TV
and video. The mission is being supported by the British Council
and the British Film Commission (BFC). The BFC will lead the group
of Commissions within the main group to visit Bollywood to look
at the workings of the Indian Film Industry and present a seminar
on filming in the UK.
72. DCMS represents the UK at the World
Heritage Committee of UNESCO, putting forward sites in Wales,
amongst others, for potential inscription as World Heritage Sites
(WHS). The World Heritage List currently contains the Castles
of Edward I in Gwynedd and we anticipate that the Industrial Landscape
of Blaenavon is likely to be added to the list later this year.
WHS status plays a significant part in attracting visitors from
73. UK Sport was established by Royal Charter
on 19 September 1996 and became fully operational on 1 January
1997. It is responsible for fostering, supporting and encouraging
the development of sport and physical recreation and the achievement
of excellence in the UK and the provision of sporting facilities
at the UK level. It takes the lead among the sports councils in
all aspects requiring strategic planning administration, co-ordination
or representation for the benefit of the UK as a whole, identifying
sporting policies that should have a UK-wide application and areas
of unnecessary duplication, overlap and waste in the way sport
is administered in the UK.
74. It focuses on high performance sport
at the UK level, including Wales, with the aim of achieving sporting
excellence on the world stage. The work of UK Sport is all about
building a framework for successdeveloping and supporting
a system capable of producing a constant flow of world class performers.
75. Ultimately the aim is to increase the
prospects of attracting major sports events to the UK, thereby
giving athletes and teams from the UK medal winning opportunities
through the benefit of home advantage. Numerous sporting events
are held annually throughout the United Kingdom and UK Sport is
empowered as the primary lottery distributor for major events
and has an annual budget of £1.6 million to support events
throughout the UK. The decision to hold an event in Wales is taken
in close consultation with the Sports Council for Wales and the
relevant local authority and/or public agency.
76. The work on major events at UK Sport
is overseen by their Major Events Steering Group. Members come
from a range of appropriate backgrounds and Lynne Evans MBE was
proposed by the Sports Council for Wales as their representative.
77. The Council of UK Sport consists of
16 members one of whom is Gareth Davies, Chairman of the Sports
Council for Wales. Another member of the Council for UK Sport
is Tanni Grey-Thompson a former member of the Sports Council for
Wales. In seeking candidates for appointment as members of the
Council of UK Sport, the Department seeks advice and contributions
from the Welsh Assembly and the Sports Council for Wales
78. The Welsh Fourth Channel Authority,
S4C, is funded primarily by a grant from the Department for Culture,
Media and Sport (£78 million for the year 2000). Productions
funded by S4C have enjoyed considerable international acclaim,
including recent Oscar nominations in the Best Foreign Language
Film category for "Solomon and Gaenor" and for the animations
"Famous Fred" and "Canterbury Tales".
79. S4C attaches considerable importance
to international programme sales and international co-productions,
which raise the profile of both Wales and Welsh film and television
industry overseas. International programme sales rose from 103
in 1998 to 196 in 1999, in which year 35 co-productions were at
different stages of development, including the 26 country "The
Animated Tales of the World". S4C's first animated feature
film, "The Miracle Maker", a collaboration with animators
from Russia, secured cinema release in France, Italy, Spain and
Latin America and was also purchased by the US television network
80. The British Council is the United Kingdom's
principal agency for cultural relations with other countries.
Its aim is to enhance the reputation of the United Kingdom in
the world as a valued partner. This is achieved via the Council's
network of over 230 offices in 110 countries:
projecting the UK's creativity, cultural
diversity and recent achievements;
support for educational exports;
enhancing the teaching of English;
assisting reform and sustainable
strengthening the UK's role within
encouraging greater international
awareness in the UK.
81. From the Council's offices in Cardiff
and Bangor and through the British Council network of offices
overseas, the British Council in Wales seeks to create opportunities
for partner educational and cultural institutions to promote the
strengths of Wales overseas.
82. The Council gives support to English
language centres and Institutes of Further and Higher Education
to attract international students to Wales as a study destination.
Under the Prime Minister's Initiative and in the National Assembly
Business Plan, new and challenging targets have been set for this
work. The Central Bureau for International Education and Training,
as part of the British Council, promotes education and training
activities involving schools, business and colleges.
83. In partnership with the Arts Council
of Wales, the Council offers Welsh artists, writers and performers
the opportunity to appear on the international stage and present
and promote the rich arts resource to be found in Wales. For example,
in May this year, Rag Foundation played a series of concerts in
Lyon, performing Welsh language popular upbeat music. Other examples
outside Europe include:
Community Music Wales to South Africa;
Carney Lafar Music presentations in USA;
Robert Minhinnick Poetry in USA;
John Metcalf, Music, New South Wales;
Robert William, Drama in New Zealand;
Rubicon Dance Group to Utah USA; and
ongoing visual arts project Richard Cox to Delhi/Rajasthan
and reciprocal visits.
84. Under British Council auspices visits,
courses, consultancies and showcases are arranged from, and into,
Wales. These create opportunities for international partnerships
in education, science, arts, the media and other sectors.
Links with the National Assembly
85. The British Council is a member of the
National Assembly for Wales International Group and has been actively
involved in their visits to Baden Württemberg (May 1999)
and Lyon (May 2000). The next Motor Region exhibition in Milan
(November 2000) will be undertaken as the result of a British
Council initiative. The Council has also been involved in Assembly
initiatives in mutual priority countriesNew South Wales
(ongoing arts exchanges; academic links; the "Montage"
programme), and the United States (UK in NY) in particular.
86. A British Council/National Assembly
group meets three times a year (Director of the British Council
Wales and Party leaders in the National Assembly under the chairmanship
of the Deputy Presiding Officer) to discuss matters of mutual
interest. Resulting from one of these meetings is a project to
bring East Europeans to Cardiff under the "Leonardo"
Scheme (see below) to work with Assembly Members as political
87. An annual reception with an Arts presentation
for all Assembly Members is planned.
88. The British Council Wales manages the
Welsh Language Project in Patagonia on behalf of the National
Assembly; the budget will be around £40k per year for the
next three years.
89. The Central Bureau for International
Education and Training has a promotional post based in the Council's
Cardiff office although at present all executive work is done
from the British Council Headquarters. The Cardiff post gives
particular emphasis to the promotion of the "Comenius"
and "Leonardo" projects, and the "Montage"
Programme of internet links between schools. The National Assembly
contibutes £20k per annum for a co-ordinating post.
Links with Assembly-sponsored public bodies
90. The Director General of the British
Council and the Chair of the Arts Council of Wales recently signed
a Memorandum of Understanding providing shared funding for inward
and outward Arts visits of performers, exhibitions and literature
events through Wales Arts International. WAI has an annual operational
budget of £130k on a three year rolling basis. Staff costs
91. The Wales Tourist Board, the British
Council Wales and eight British Council accredited language teaching
centres co-operate on a project promoting Wales as an English
language learning destination. A joint brochure, poster, and biennial
fair in Wales as well as participation in overseas education fairs
(Expolingua, Madrid April 2000) are planned. The project has a
joint annual budget of £12k.
92. The British Council frequently co-operates
with the WDA on science and technology visits and initiatives,
all-Wales activities (eg Japan 2001) and joint BC/WDA activities
overseas (for example Science Seminar with six Welsh Academics
focusing on research support to the Pharmaceutical Industry Tokyo,
93. During the UK Presidency of the EU Council
of Ministers in the first half of 1998, the British Council and
the Arts Council of Wales jointly staged a festival of contemporary
Welsh art"Art from Wales"which included
photographic and art exhibitions as well as a Dylan Thomas monologue
and performances by Theatr Clwyd and Welsh musicians.
94. As part of the Prime Minister's Initiative
to attract more international students to the UK, the British
Council provides the secretariat to WHEILA (Wales Higher Education
Liaison Association)the partnership body which produces
an all-Wales brochure, a website, and organises all-Wales Higher
Education fairs (Brunei 1999; Japan 2001). The Higher Education
Funding Council for Wales (HEFCW) provides £25k annually
to cover the costs of a co-ordinating post.
95. The Council believes good progress has
been made but has plans to do more. These will aim to enhance
current arrangements; for example:
broadening the WHEILA remit to include
Further Education in a drive to meet the PM's targets for that
sector in Wales as well as those for the Higher Education sector;
more use to be made of the Welsh
Language Board's expertise to provide consultancies/seminars/inputs
overseas to countries requesting assistance with bilingualism
(especially bilingual education policies), language planning,
and advice on minority language status; and
strengthening the Central Bureau's
and school based (pre-16) activities.
Examples of promotional activities
96. In celebration of St. David's Day, arts
events were organised in Brussels through Wales Arts International
as part of the "Wales in Brussels" programme. A reception
was given for international students and Central Bureau Language
Assistants in Wales. These are now annual events, the arts components
of which may in future extend to Portugal, Quebec and USA.
97. During 1999 film fairs were held in
the Motor Region capitals of Stuttgart, Munster and Lyon, attracting
total audiences of over 1,000 to see Welsh films and videos. Particular
successes have been "Human Traffic" and animation films
such as "The Canterbury Tales".
98. Arts showcase events in Wales, which
generally attract European participants (but are by no means limited
to these) have promoted theatre and visual arts. A music showcase
is planned to coincide with the National Eistedfodd in 2001.
99. Other specifically European-focused
events have been those facilitated by the Central Bureau's role
as an agency for EU programmes. Elements of "Socrates II",
"Comenius" (school education), "Grundtvig"
(adult-education and lifelong learning); "Lingua" (promotion
and learning of foreign languages); and "Minerva" (open
and distance learning and the use of ICT in education).
100. "Leonardo" provides European
vocational training opportunities and "EUROPASS", a
new initiative for recognising skills developed on transnational
work placements, will bring east European researchers to work
with Assembly Members in 2001.
101. All-Wales combined events (education/arts/business/sport)
under British Council auspices have already been held in Australia
and Brunei and are now planned for Croatia (March 2001) and Japan
(April 2001). These provide an opportunity to showcase the best
of each of these sectors and create higher impact than the sectors
individually. A notable success in Brunei was performances by
students from the Welsh College of Music and Drama, thus combining
promotion of education and the arts.
102. The Central Bureau's "Montage"
internet project has enabled school children in Wales and New
South Wales to exchange information with each other and to communicate
on such central issues as the environment, human rights and citizenship.
Wales now has its own section on the "Montage" website
103. Governance activities have included
a seminar on devolution held in Cardiff and Edinburgh over the
week of the Assembly/Parliament elections in May 1999, and attendance
by Assembly Members at British Council events focusing on devolution
and Human Rights issues (Paris, Brazil in 1999). This area is
now being developed by the informal Assembly Group referred to
Rt Hon Paul Murphy MP
Secretary of State for Wales