To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills what guidance his Department has given to regional development agencies on opening offices overseas.
In the case of the eight English RDAs outside London, where they maintain representation overseas to achieve regional priorities, those have been set by consulting with stakeholders and partners on the Regional Economic Strategy and Corporate Plans. Each agency is required to seek and obtain prior ministerial approval through UK Trade and Investment (UKTI) for any proposal to extend or create new overseas offices involved in inward investment or trade promotion activities.
On inward investment RDAs have agreed to observe guidance on joint activity planning, evaluation and information sharing with UKTI's overseas teams and use of a common UK brand. This guidance also encourages them to explore opportunities for co-location and joint management by UKTI's overseas teams.
On trade promotion, as agreed by RDA chairs and Ministers in 2003, UKTI continues to operate as the international trade arm of the RDAs.