"Inward investment is uncritically welcomed and even sought by local authorities, because it is thought to be a relatively easy way of gaining income, jobs and status for the area. But, as experience is starting to show, it also brings many problems and any income that it brings is often outweighed by heavier costs of many kinds. The jobs it brings seem to miss local people, and outsiders are brought in to fill them. The promises that inward investment makes are not met."
That is the introduction to an article that I wrote with and for Cllr. Klaus Armstrong-Braun of the Broughton Green Party in Wales in January 1998. The full article spells out the dangers of inward investment, and I have placed it on my web page as ii.dangers.html. The individual dangers it discusses are:
The article was inserted as an Appendix in Investment in Industry in Wales, the report by the U.K. House of Commons Select Committee of Welsh Affairs Session 97-98.
Today (8 February 1999) I heard on BBC Radio 4 that the Welsh Office is changing its policy, recognising that its strategy in the past has been wrong, in giving too much emphasis to large multi-national firms, and is redirecting resources towards supporting and investing in local and smaller and existing organizations. We are pleased if our article has made a useful contribution to the debate, and even more pleased if wisdom prevails even without it.
(The version deposited here was the original with some updates made on 1 August 1998.)
Copyright (c) Andrew Basden 1999.