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International Trade Committee launches inquiry into inward foreign direct investment

18 December 2020

Today, the International Trade Committee is launching its inquiry into inward foreign direct investment (FDI) – where overseas investors acquire ownership of, or a controlling stake in, UK businesses.

The inquiry will look at how the Government promotes and facilitates inward investment, including the part played by the new Office for Investment. It will also examine planned new powers to scrutinise and intervene in business transactions to protect national security.

The Committee will consider in particular the role played in UK inward investment by foreign governments’ Sovereign Wealth Funds.

The Chair of the International Trade Committee, Angus Brendan MacNeil MP, said:

“Foreign direct investment provides an invaluable injection of capital into the UK, with FDI-linked businesses making up a significant proportion of the economy. Against a background of administrative, legislative and economic change, we will look at how the Government is responding to major policy challenges in this area.

“The creation of the Office for Investment gives an opportunity to reflect on how well the Government is working to support inward investment in a highly competitive international environment.

“The National Security and Investment Bill, meanwhile, focuses attention on growing concerns around the motives behind some investments. There is a clear need to strike a balance between, on the one hand, encouraging investment, growth and innovation, and, on the other, remaining attuned to possible threats to national security. This will also be explored as part of my Committee’s inquiry.”

The Committee welcomes written evidence on the following questions by 17.00, 26 February 2021:

  • How can the Office for Investment most effectively fulfil its remit to “support the landing of high value investment opportunities into the UK”, while “ensuring high and rigorous standards of scrutiny and security”?
  • How does the Government’s Investment Strategy relate to its Industrial Strategy, its regional policy and the “levelling up” agenda?
  • What advice, support and assistance should the Government be providing to inward investors – and how can it most effectively communicate with investors?
  • What effects would the provisions of the National Security and Investment Bill have on UK inward investment – and how well does it balance national security against promoting and facilitating inward investment?
  • What role do Sovereign Wealth Funds play in UK inward investment – and how might that role develop?
  • What particular issues do Sovereign Wealth Funds pose in respect of UK national security – and how can these most effectively be addressed?

Form of written evidence: 

Submissions should be no longer than 3,000 words. The main body of any submission should use numbered paragraphs. Each submission should contain: 

  • a short summary, perhaps in bullet point form;
  • a brief introduction about the person or organisation submitting evidence, for example explaining their area of expertise or experience;
  • any factual information from which the Committee might be able to draw conclusions, or which could be put to other witnesses;
  • any recommendations for action by the Government or others which the submitter would like the Committee to consider for inclusion in its report to the House.

Submissions should be in malleable format such as MS Word (not PDFs) with no use of colour or logos. Guidance on submitting written evidence and data protection information is available here: Guidance on submitting written evidence

Deadline for submissions 

The Committee is asking for initial written evidence to be submitted through the Committee’s web portal by 5pm on 26 February 2021.  

It is recommended that all submitters familiarise themselves with the Guidance on giving evidence to a Select Committee of the House of Commons which outlines particulars of word count, format, document size, and content restrictions. 


We encourage members of underrepresented groups to submit written evidence. We aim to have diverse panels of Select Committee witnesses and ask organisations to bear this in mind when we ask them to choose a representative. We are currently monitoring the diversity of our witnesses. 

Media enquiries to:

Toni McAndrew-Noon