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Post Office Card Accounts

Dr. Cable: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what the Government's target is for the number of Post Office Card Accounts to be operational in (a) 2003 and (b) 2006; and what the estimated cost is to the Government of those accounts. [10454]

Ms Hewitt: Targets for Post Office Card Account (POCA) will be developed within the context of a migration and marketing strategy which is in the process of being developed. On the cost of the POCA, it would not be appropriate to disclose current estimates as this is subject to commercial negotiations between Consignia and the Paying Departments and between Consignia and the potential supplier of the banking engine.

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Microsoft Pricing Policies

Dr. Cable: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what steps she is taking in response to industry representations on Microsoft pricing policies. [10456]

Miss Melanie Johnson: Under UK competition law the Director General of Fair Trading is responsible for investigating allegations of anti-competitive behaviour and possible abuses of a dominant position. He can act where pricing levels appear to be the result of anti- competitive behaviour but has no powers to act in relation to prices as such.

My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry has advised IT industry representative bodies that if they have evidence of anti-competitive behaviour by Microsoft they should forward it to the Director General of Fair Trading.

A380 Airbus

Mr. Chidgey: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry (1) what assessment she has made of the impact on competitiveness of British aerospace subcontractors of bidding for elements of the A380 Airbus project against European suppliers whose non-recoverable up-front costs are supported by their Governments' development assistance; [10814]

Mr. Wilson: The Government will provide £530 million of Launch Investment to Airbus UK for the Airbus A380 super jumbo project. The project will create and safeguard jobs in both Airbus UK and the supply chain. As in the case of our agreement with Airbus UK, details of agreements between other governments and their industries are commercially confidential.

The support provided to the prime contractor such as Airbus UK benefits the whole of the supply chain by securing strategically important projects for the UK. This has been the experience of past Launch Investment contracts.

The DTI continues to sponsor a programme of activities, operated by the Society of British Aerospace Companies, aimed at improving the competitiveness of the UK aerospace industry. This has had a beneficial effect on the industry as a whole and has contributed to the UK supply chain being in a strong position to compete globally.

Limited Liability Partnerships

Mr. Cousins: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how many partnerships have (a) applied for

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and (b) been granted limited liability status; and whether such partnerships are required to make a disclosure of regulatory, disciplinary or legal actions they are defending. [11284]

Miss Melanie Johnson: 948 limited liability partnerships (LLPs) had been successfully registered with Companies House as of 29 October 2001. 16 refunds have been given to unsuccessful applicants. LLPs, like companies, are not required to make any disclosure of regulatory, disciplinary or legal actions that they may be defending.

Arms Exports

Mr. Cousins: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what her policy is on the export of cluster bombs; how many licences for the export of cluster bombs are in force; and to which countries. [10918]

Nigel Griffiths: All licence applications covering the export of cluster bombs are considered on a case-by-case basis against the consolidated EU and national arms export licensing criteria.

The export of cluster bombs is controlled under entries ML3 and ML4 in Part 3 of Schedule 1 of the Export of Goods (Control) Order 1994 as amended. Other bombs and munitions are also controlled under these entries. It would entail disproportionate cost to examine the records to establish which, if any, of the licences still in force cover the export of cluster bombs.

Mr. Cousins: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if she will list the value and country of destination of exports under the military list in categories (a) ML4a (b) P5030, (c) ML7, (d) ML7d, (e) ML7e and (f) ML7f from 1997 to 2000 inclusive. [10917]

Nigel Griffiths: It would entail disproportionate cost to establish the value and country of destination of exports controlled under entries ML4a, P5030, ML7, ML7d, ML7e and ML7f in Part 3 of Schedule 1 of the Export of Goods (Control) Order 1994 as amended; from 2 May 1997 to 31 December 2000.

Legal Profession

Mr. Dismore: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if she will make a statement on progress with the OFT report on the legal profession. [8662]

Miss Melanie Johnson: In the budget debate on 8 March 2001, my right hon. Friend the then Secretary of State for Trade and Industry announced the Government's response to the OFT report, "Competition in Professions", published on 7 March 2001.

The Government agreed with the recommendation that Schedule 4 to the Competition Act 1998 should be repealed and that the professions should be fully subject to competition law. The Government also announced that they would consult on those areas of the report that fell to them to take forward.

The Government remain committed to ensuring that the professions are properly subject to competition.

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Inward Investment

Mr. Hammond: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what assessment she has made of trends in foreign direct investment in Scotland, Wales and the English regions in the last 12 months. [10986]

Nigel Griffiths: The figures are based on information provided by companies at the time of the announcement of the decision to invest in the UK. They are based on the companies' best estimate, at that time, of the number of jobs to be created/safeguarded by the investment in its first three years.

There is no requirement to notify inward investment decisions and so the figures include only those projects where Invest UK and its regional partners were involved or which have come to their notice.

On 12 July Invest UK announced at its Annual Review another record year for attracting inward investment projects into the UK. Between 1 April 2000 and 21 March 2001, Invest UK recorded 869 inward investment decisions to locate in the UK by foreign owned companies (an increase of 15 per cent. on the previous year) over the next three years.

2000–01ScotlandWalesEnglish Region
Number of projects7239639
Number of new jobs9,2744,52052,812
Number of safeguarded jobs4,2311,83345,318
Total of associated jobs13,5056,35397,130

Figures published by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) on 25 September showed that at the end of the second quarter of 2001 Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) stock in the UK had risen to £389.5 billion—up 32 per cent. compared with a year earlier.

There are signs of a decrease in the total number of new inward investment inquiries. We are monitoring the position and working hard to maximise the level of inward investment.

Mr. Key: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if she will make a statement on the levels of inward investment in the UK. [10652]

Nigel Griffiths [holding answer 30 October 2001]: The figures included are based on information provided by companies at the time of the announcement of the decision to invest in the UK. They are based on the companies' best estimate, at that time, of the number of jobs to be created/safeguarded by the investment in its first three years.

There is no requirement to notify inward investment decisions and so the figures include only those projects where Invest UK and its regional partners were involved or which have come to their notice.

On 12 July Invest UK announced at its Annual Review another record year for attracting inward investment projects to the UK. Between 1 April 2000 and 21 March 2001, Invest UK recorded 869 inward investment

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decisions to locate in the UK by foreign owned companies (an increase of 15 per cent. on the previous year) over the next three years.

Figures published by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) on 25 September showed that at the end of the second quarter of 2001 Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) stock in the UK had risen to £389.5 billion—up 32 per cent. compared with a year earlier.

There are signs of a decrease in the total number of new inward investment inquiries. We are monitoring the position and working hard to maximise the level of inward investment.

Mr. Key: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry (1) what measures she is taking to ensure that the UK remains attractive to foreign investment; [10659]

Nigel Griffiths [holding answer 30 October 2001]: Posts overseas have intense contacts with potential inward investors. Invest UK as the Government agency that promotes the whole of the UK as the best inward investment location in Europe is working in partnership with all UK Development Agencies to maximise the level of inward investment.

The Government are encouraging all Development Agencies to build on their strengths and on existing clusters in their regions to attract further inward investment. They are also increasingly collaborating with each other, on overseas promotional activities, to increase their attractiveness to investors.

31 Oct 2001 : Column: 700W

Over the last two months Invest UK has been involved in the following events to promote the UK abroad.


The Government are continuing to pursue economic policies which enhance the UK's attractions including developing our skills base, providing flexible labour markets and a stable economy.

Mr. Hammond: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if she will provide an estimate of foreign direct investment for each region of the United Kingdom for each year since 1997, and the forecast for each region for 2001. [10995]

Nigel Griffiths: The figures in the table are based on information provided by companies at the time of the announcement of the decision to invest in the UK. They are based on the companies' best estimate, at that time, of the number of jobs to be created/safeguarded by the investment in its first three years.

There is no requirement to notify inward investment decisions and so the figures include only those projects where Invest UK and its regional partners were involved or which have come to their notice.

Figures for 2001–02 are still being collected and will be available in July 2002 when Invest UK announces its annual results.

From 1 April to 31 MarchNumber of projectsTotal new jobsTotal safe jobsTotal associated jobs
1997–98
East3494517,74418,689
East Midlands181,6897582,444
London632,9484443,392
North East482,7649,89012,654
Northern Ireland243,3572,4165,773
North West714,9447,27712,221
Scotland757,6884,86912,557
South East575,5347,48213,016
Wales554,9762,4797,455
South West403,2051,7354,940
West Midlands815,64112,54618,187
Yorkshire and Humber652,87415,13118,005
Total for year63146,56282,771129,333
1998–99
East411,4112,5753,986
East Midlands212,0961,1763,272
London1054,1251,7965,921
North East352,3046,9539,257
Northern Ireland313,3451,8375,182
North West653,2249,12312,347
Scotland546,3111,0987,409
South East734,49713,95718,454
UK2505,8005,850
Wales485,5911,7967,387
South West343,0081,4174,425
West Midlands715,4789,32314,801
Yorkshire and Humber863,62618,67222,298
Total for year66645,06675,523120,589
1999–2000
East372,1012,0854,186
East Midlands316751,7072,382
London1597,2009,98917,189
North East493,4798,43111,910
Northern Ireland202,3531,7104,063
North West804,76811,86516,633
Scotland7610,8043,09513,899
South East1106,23615,98722,223
South West474,8143,2638,077
UK101,0001,000
Wales474,1613,6367,797
West Midlands996,45811,73018,188
Yorkshire and Humber441,3627,0898,451
Total for year80054,41181,587135,998
2000–01
East563,0947,89810,992
East Midlands172,0652,2874,352
London2228,3062,27410,580
North East354,9592,8597,818
Northern Ireland224,9069095,815
North West393,1871,6104,797
Scotland729,2744,23113,505
South East19118,1904,54722,737
South West384,1092,1826,291
UK502020
Wales394,5201,8336,353
West Midlands1034,86720,22625,093
Yorkshire and Humber334,0351,4155,450
Total for year87271,51252,291123,803
Report total2,969217,551292,172509,723

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