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Construction Industry Certification Scheme

Mr. Swire: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry (1) if she will encourage the Construction Industry Certification Scheme to recognise the Rolo Scheme launched by the British Association of Landscape Industries; [37623]

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Mr. Wilson: It is the Construction Skills Certification Scheme (CSCS) and not the Construction Industry Certification Scheme to which I believe the hon. Gentleman is referring. There has been no ministerial contact with the Chairman of CSCS following their refusal to permit the affiliation of the registration of Landbased Operatives Scheme (ROLO) launched by the British Association of Landscape Industries (BALI). Both BALI and CSCS are independent organisations. CSCS has set down affiliation criteria which the ROLO scheme has not satisfied. It would however, be inappropriate for Government to intervene in this matter. However, as Minister for construction, I welcome all initiatives which seek to improve skills competence, training and health and safety.

Developing Countries

Lynne Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry when and in what format the results of the work by the World Bank on the effects of services liberalisation on developing countries, funded by her Department, will be made available. [37861]

Ms Hewitt: World Bank work in this area is being supported with funding by the Department for International Development. The work undertaken as part of the project is continually updated on the World Bank website

Lynne Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what assessment she has made of the impact of TRIPs royalties on developing countries' debt repayments. [37943]

Ms Hewitt: Any royalties or licence fees paid in developing countries in respect of intellectual property rights would be commercial matters between private parties and as such should not directly impact on debt repayment by national governments.


Lynne Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry whether Article VI of the GATS will apply to all service sectors. [37862]

Ms Hewitt: This is one of the issues to be resolved in the current WTO services negotiations.

Lynne Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what recent representations her Department has made to WTO members on the drafting of a clarification of the GATS exclusion of public services. [37860]

Ms Hewitt: My Department has met a number of WTO members informally on this issue. In principle the Government are open to clarification of this provision if it can be achieved without creating new areas of uncertainty.

Domestic Subsidies

Lynne Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if she will list the export and trade-distorting domestic subsidies that were discussed at the Doha ministerial meeting on trade of November 2001. [37857]

Ms Hewitt: The reference to export and trade- distorting subsidies can be found in the section of the 5th Ministerial Declaration relating to Agriculture. Without

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prejudging the outcome, member Governments have committed themselves to comprehensive negotiations aimed at the reduction, with a view to phasing out, all forms of exports subsidies for agriculture and substantial reductions for domestic supports in agriculture that distort trade.

It was also agreed at the WTO 5th ministerial meeting in Doha to proceed with negotiations on fisheries subsidies and aimed at clarifying and improving disciplines under the Agreements on Implementation of Art VI GATT and Subsidies and Countervailing Measures.


Lynne Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if she will make a statement on the mechanisms by which the agreement that the WTO Special and Differential Treatment system should become a more integral part of trade negotiations, reached at the Doha Ministerial meeting on trade of November 2001, will be implemented. [37859]

Ms Hewitt: The 'Decision on Implementation Related Issues and Concerns', agreed at Doha, instructed the WTO Committee on Trade and Development to consider the status and effective operation of existing Special and Differential Treatment provisions and to report to the General Council with clear recommendations for a Decision by July 2002 and, within the context of the work programme agreed at Doha, to consider how Special and Differential Treatment may be incorporated into the architecture of WTO rules. Discussions in the Committee on Trade and Development are ongoing.

As set out in the White Paper, 'Eliminating World Poverty: Making Globalisation Work for the Poor', we will be arguing for the EU to support approaches that recognise even more explicitly than at present that WTO Members are at different stages of development.

Lynne Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what assessment she has made of the steps necessary for the WTO to be more transparent and open and its rules easier to understand. [37856]

Ms Hewitt: The Doha Ministerial Declaration, agreed by all members of the WTO in November 2001, recognised the challenges posed by an expanding membership, and confirmed the need to ensure internal transparency within the organisation and the effective participation of all members in the decision making process. Members also committed themselves to making the WTO's operations more transparent to outside parties, including through better dissemination of information and improved dialogue with the public.

I support the need for such measures in order to maintain confidence in the multilateral trading system.

Offshore Wind Farms (Fishing)

Mr. Key: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what assessment she has made of the safety implications for (a) vessels and (b) wind turbines, of fishing within an offshore wind farm; and if she will impose exclusion zones. [37748]

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Mr. Wilson: I have not undertaken a broad safety assessment in relation to windfarms and fishing interests as the implications will vary from site to site. Safety will be a matter that I and other regulators will look at carefully when considering specific proposals which may include exclusion zones, and will of course also be a key consideration by the developers themselves.

Unified Science Strategy

Mr. Key: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if she will establish a unified science strategy for the UK. [37750]

Ms Hewitt: The Science and Innovation White Paper—"Excellence and Opportunity: A science and innovation policy for the 21st century"—was published in July 2000. It set out the Government's strategy for building on the UK's record of scientific excellence, and for ensuring that the outputs from scientific research are harnessed in innovative products and services that will yield economic and social benefits for the people of the UK.

One of the commitments in the White Paper was that each Government Department should publish a science and innovation strategy setting out the broad framework within which science and technology are used to meet its policy objectives. These science and innovation strategies, with complementary material from the Research Councils and the devolved Administrations, were the theme for "The Forward Look 2001 of Government-funded science, engineering and technology", published in December 2001, which provides an overview of the Government's approach to the use of science and technology and priorities for expenditure.

The Government have also established a new Cabinet Ministerial Committee on Science Policy, which I chair, to look across the board at the Government's policies in relation to scientific advances and the public's acceptance of them.

RRS Darwin

Mr. Key: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry when she plans to replace the RRS Darwin; and if she will make a statement. [37749]

Ms Hewitt: Following approval by the Natural Environment Research Council of the science and business cases for the replacement of the RRS Charles Darwin, the project will be considered, alongside other research spending priorities, in the context of the present spending review. It is anticipated that the procurement of the new ship would take approximately four years.

Queen Elizabeth's Foundation

Chris Grayling: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry (1) what representations she has received on the planned closure of the Bradmere house factory in Leatherhead by the Queen Elizabeth's Foundation; [30032]

Maria Eagle: I have been asked to reply.

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We have been in contact with representatives of the Queen Elizabeth's Foundation and have asked to be kept informed of the progress of the consultation they are conducting regarding the future of the Bradmere house factory. We intend to work with the Foundation to consider all the options for securing the future employment of the disabled people who work at the factory.

The funding arrangements for residential training contracts changed from advance to arrears payments in April 2000. This change was made to bring the funding arrangements in line with Government accounting procedures, which require all activities funded through contracts to be paid in arrears. The system for the arrears payment is much simpler and providers were expected to be able save on administration costs.

All residential training providers were informed of this change in writing in January 2000 and arrangements were made for advance payments to be reconciled by June

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2000. The introduction of the change was staggered through the first quarter of the financial year 2000–01 to ease any short-term difficulties.

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