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Alan Johnson: The first terms of office of Jonathan Porritt (SW RDA), John Ashcroft (Yorkshire Forward) and Bryan Carr and Ron Whittaker (EMDA) ended this year. Following consultation with RDA chairmen and key national and regional players, I have decided to re-appoint each of them to their respective board for a second term of three years. Biographies of these board members are set out. The next round of new appointments will begin in June.
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Miss Melanie Johnson: ISA fees are credited to the Department of Trade and Industry's account at the Bank of England. Pursuant to the provisions of section 405 of the Insolvency Act 1986 surplus interest is paid to the Consolidated Fund.
Miss Melanie Johnson [holding answer 8 May 2002]: Under the Enterprise Bill we are creating a new statutory framework for the Office of Fair Trading (OFT), including creating a board, and requiring the OFT to publish an annual plan and annual report.
Harry Cohen: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how many (a) Standard Individual Export Licences and (b) Open Individual Export Licences have been issued for exports to Israel in each month since January 2001. 
|Month/year||Number of SIELs||Number of OIELs|
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All export licence applications to Israel are assessed on a case-by-case basis against the Consolidated EU and National Arms Export Licensing criteria in light of the circumstances prevailing at the time. This means that we will not issue export licences where to do so would be in contravention of the Consolidated Criteria, including where there is a clear risk that the items might be used in internal repression, international aggression, adversely affect regional stability or prolong internal conflict.
Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if she will make a statement on her Department's policy on (a) competition and (b) regulation in the newspaper distribution industry. 
The Office of Fair Trading is currently reviewing the Code of Practice on the supply of national newspapers, introduced following the 1993 monopoly report on newspaper distribution in England and Wales. It is also examining other issues affecting the industry including exclusive distribution and carriage charges.
Ms Hewitt: In our first term, our priority was to establish a platform of macro economic stability. That we have achieved. We now need to build upon this foundation to improve the productivity and competitiveness of our economy.
As part of this programme, I am publishing today a report setting out the Government's strategy for the manufacturing sector; a report by the Automotive Innovation and Growth Team; and a Value-Added Scoreboard. Copies of each publication are being placed in the Libraries of the House. I have also established a new Innovation and Growth Team, on the aerospace industry.
UK manufacturing matters. It creates a fifth of our national output, employs 4 million people and produces the majority of our exports. It supports well paid jobs in all regions. It can make a very substantial contribution to improvements in our economy's productivity. The success of United Kingdom manufacturing is crucial to our country's prosperity, now and in the future.
I recognise that the sector has been facing difficult conditions. There is intense competition in every market, compounded within the euro zone by the persistent weakness of that currency. In recent times, manufacturers
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around the world have all faced very difficult trading conditions, as a result of the global downturn in manufacturing.
Looking to the future, however, the potential of the sector is strong. The United Kingdom is part of the world's largest single market as well as being one of the world's most open trading nations. This brings extra competition, but also extra opportunity. Recent surveys of industrial confidence have been positive, and there is evidence of improved global conditions.
Many UK manufacturers are world leaders. We excel in sectors such as car manufacturing, aerospace, pharmaceuticals, the electronics industry and food production. But despite its many strengths, UK manufacturing also suffers from long-standing weaknesseslower levels of skill, investment, R and D and innovationthat contribute to lower levels of productivity than in France, Germany and the US.
The document I am publishing sets out the Government's strategy for helping manufacturing companies fulfil their potential in the UK, moving up the value chain to high skilled, knowledge intensive operations. The strategy builds on the TUC/CBI work on productivity, the dialogue at the manufacturing summit I hosted last December, and a careful analysis of the evidence.
A first requirement is that Government must create a sound market-oriented, stable business environment. But this is not enough. We must also encourage companies to innovate, to invest, to improve skills and use best business practice. On this basis we identify seven manufacturing pillars for our strategy:
Raising skills and education levels
The right market framework.
The Automotive Innovation and Growth Team report that I am also publishing today provides an excellent example of Government working in partnership with industry to produce a practical strategy which will bring real benefits to a critical manufacturing sector.
My right hon. Friend the Prime Minister is discussing the strategy later this afternoon with Sir Ian Gibson, Chairman of the AIGT, and other senior automotive leaders. I am delighted to accept the recommendations of the report and to confirm that the Government are committed to delivering on the report's conclusions in partnership with the automotive industry. Government funding of around £45 million will be invested over five
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years to implement the recommendations to establish an Automotive Academy, Supply Chain Groups, and two automotive centres of excellence.
I am also publishing today the first ever company wealth creation league tablethe Value-Added Scoreboard, which measures value added, that is sales less the cost of bought-in materials, components and services. It provides a unique tool which enables all companies, including those not currently in the Scoreboard, easily to calculate their value added from their annual report and benchmark themselves against UK and European companies in their sector that are in the Scoreboard.
The Scoreboard, put together by the DTI Innovation Group, contains real success stories of British manufacturing and other sectors and will help companies to learn from the record of Britain's and Europe's most successful businesses. There are five UK companies in the top 15 wealth creators in EuropeShell, BP, HSBC, GlaxoSmithKline and BTand 24 in the top 100, all highly successful companies that create high value added for the UK economy.
Three other innovation and growth teams have already been established, in the chemicals, environmental equipment, and software sectors. In the textiles and clothing sector, we are implementing the recommendations of the Industry Strategy Group. The aerospace industry in the UK has been very successful, but it is facing increasing competition from other parts of the world. I am, therefore, delighted to be able to announce today the formation of an innovation and growth team for the sector, led by Sir Richard Evans of BAE Systems.
We will publish competitiveness studies on a sectoral basis to provide a basis for further action to improve productivity and performance,
The English regional development agencies have been asked to reflect the importance of manufacturing in their regional economic strategies and plans.
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