§ Mr. Bercow
To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what her policy is on the development of non-discriminatory multilateral rules for investment. 785W
§ Mr. Mike O'Brien
The Government remain convinced that there are potential economic and social benefits to be gained from a multilateral rules on investment for both developed and developing countries. However, we must take account of the views of developing countries, many of whom have expressed their strong opposition to taking forward negotiations particularly in the areas of investment and competition.
I, therefore, welcome the fact that EU Trade Ministers agreed on 2 December that the European Community should "unbundle" the four issues and explore alternative, more flexible approaches, including the possibility of removing some, or all, of the Singapore issues from the Doha Round.