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Information Campaigns

Dr. Cable: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how much her Department spent on information literature, advertising and campaign material in financial year 2001–02; if she will list the campaigns that spent over £250,000; and if she will make a statement. [70216]

Ms Hewitt [holding answer 22 July 2002]: The cost of external publications as notified to my Department's Publications Unit and advertising expenditure through COI in 2001–02 was £4,553,677 and £6,630,590 respectively. Expenditure on campaign material is not held centrally.

The following advertising campaigns cost more than £250,000 in 2001–02:

£
UK Online for Business2,509,823
Business Link Awareness2,450,781
Quality Mark Scheme908,179
National Minimum Wage324,906
Home Safety299,558

Diesel Directive

Mrs. Helen Clark: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what assessment she has made of the effects on UK diesel engine marinising companies and on UK agents for EU manufacturers of recreational craft engines of (a) the proposed EU Directive Com (2000) 639

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and (b) an amendment exempting producers of less than 5000 engines per annum from compliance for five years after the directive comes into effect. [71643]

Alan Johnson [holding answer 19 July 2002]: A Regulatory Impact Assessment submitted to the European Scrutiny Committee on 5 July 2001 provided an assessment of the effect of COM (2000)639 on affected parties including engine marinisers. No specific assessment has been made in respect of UK agents for EU manufacturers of recreational craft. Also no assessment has been made of the effect such an amendment would have on either of the two groups. COM (2000)639 has been under discussion within the Council and European Parliament for some time and the Council reached a Common Position, the text of which was published on 22 April 2002. The European Parliament made no such amendment during the first reading and it is unlikely that such an amendment would be considered at this late stage if it was not already proposed during the first reading. However, it is my understanding that a Council Working Group will meet some time in September to consider any second reading amendments. Once all these amendments have been forwarded to the Council, we will with our partners take a view on the whole package of amendments. Following that, and before the European Parliament second reading takes place, the UK Government will as usual issue briefing to UK MEPs which will make our position clear. In addition, the UK Parliamentary Scrutiny Committees will be kept informed.

Mrs. Helen Clark: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if she will make it her policy to support an amendment exempting diesel marinisers producing less than 5000 engines per annum from compliance with Com (2000) 639 for five years after it comes into force. [71642]

Mr. Wilson [holding answer 19 July 2002]: COM (2000)639 relating to exhaust gas and noise emissions from recreational craft has been under discussion within the Council and European Parliament for some time and the Council reached a Common Position, the text of which was published on 22 April 2002. The European Parliament made no such amendment during the first reading and it is unlikely that such an amendment would be considered at this late stage if it was not already proposed during the first reading. However, it is my understanding that a Council Working Group will meet some time in September to consider any second reading amendments. Once all these amendments have been forwarded to the Council, we will with our partners take a view on the whole package of amendments. Following that, and before the European Parliament second reading takes place, the UK Government will as usual issue briefing to UK MEPs which will make our position clear. In addition, the UK Parliamentary Scrutiny Committees will be kept informed.

Air and Noise Pollution

Mrs. Helen Clark: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what assessment she has made of the effects of Com (2000) 639 on air and noise pollution. [71641]

Mr. Wilson [holding answer 19 July 2002]: No specific assessment has been made. COM (2000) 639 indicated that there would be a slight decrease in overall

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pollution as a result of implementation. However, this measure is proposed under Article 95 of the Treaty and is mainly concerned with the reduction of technical barriers to trade within the EU. It was on this basis that the UK supported the proposal while noting that in the long term there was likely to be some improvement in air quality and reduction in noise levels.

Developing Countries

Ms Drown: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what steps she is taking to encourage developing countries (a) to conduct an impact assessment before deciding whether to liberalise service sectors and (b) to consult civil society and carry out an assessment before the March 2003 deadline for offers. [70939]

Ms Hewitt: The United Kingdom is fully committed to helping developing countries to carry out impact assessments on the liberalisation requests they are receiving. The Department for International Development is providing funding to both the World bank and UNCTAD to support projects aimed at helping to build the capacity of developing countries to carry out such assessments and to participate effectively in the GATS negotiations. We are also working with the key international agencies to make the most appropriate and effective use of the funding that has been made available to help with the assessment question.

Ms Drown: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry, pursuant to her answer of 8 July 2002, Official Report, column 672W, what evidence she draws on to suggest that liberalisation of business, financial, telecommunications and transport services are most likely to contribute to development in developing countries. [70938]

Ms Hewitt: There are a number of studies on the actual or potential impact of liberalisation of services on developing countries. The World Bank's report "Global Economic Prospects and the Developing Countries 2002" gives a useful overview of the available evidence.

Post Office

Mr. Hendrick: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if she will publish the report evaluating the results of the pilot of the Your Guide service. [72968]

Mr. Timms: The report evaluating the results of the Your Guide service has been published today. Copies are now available in the Libraries of the House.

Manufacturing

(Productivity and Competitiveness)

Mr. Hendrick: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry when her Department will respond to the Trade and Industry Select Committee inquiry into the productivity and competiveness of manufacturing. [72971]

Ms Hewitt: I am delighted to report that my Department is today publishing a Command Paper in response to the report by the Trade and Industry Select Committee's report into the productivity and competitiveness of UK manufacturing.

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I warmly welcome the Committee's report, which has made a valuable contribution to the ongoing debate about the future of UK manufacturing. There is much in the Committee's excellent analysis with which the Government agrees, not least the importance of manufacturing to the UK economy.

Manufacturing matters hugely. It produces a fifth of our national income, directly employs almost four million people and millions more in dependent businesses; and it supports many good jobs in some of the poorer regions of Britain. Manufacturing accounts for 60 per cent. of our exports and 80 per cent. of commercial research and development, so it is a driver of innovation and technology uptake. It is a key to future prosperity, our economy and the society in which we live.

There are great opportunities for British manufacturers. The UK has real strengths to build on. We have many world-class companies. We have a stable macro-economic environment, a first class science base and membership of the EU giving access to the world's largest single market. But we recognise that we also have significant weaknesses; lower levels of skills, investment, R&D and innovation. Companies that rely mainly on labour intensive products and processes will find it ever more difficult to compete unless they evolve to meet the challenges. Companies must increase the value they add through innovative management, products and processes to succeed in the longer term.

In particular, if UK manufacturers could match the productivity performance of France, Germany and the US, all else remaining equal, we would be £70 billion better off. Returns on investments would be higher, jobs better paid and companies more competitive. That is why the Department of Trade and Industry has put manufacturing at the heart of its agenda—a fact reflected in the Command Paper—and we have set challenging targets on productivity and are taking significant action across a wide front to deliver on them in the longer term.

I welcome the Committee's call to give a greater focus across the DTI on the importance of the manufacturing industry and its needs, and to work with other Government departments in pushing forward the manufacturing agenda. Much progress has been made since the Committee began its inquiry and published its conclusions. A significant amount of what Government—and particularly DTI—does, supports manufacturing and has done for many years. But I have also instigated a step change by increasing both departmental and ministerial resources focused on manufacturing. The role of the Minister of State for Employment Relations, Industry and the Regions has been strengthened—effectively creating a Minister with responsibility for manufacturing. The Department also has a strengthened structure with a new Manufacturing Policy Team and a new Director General for Innovation, when appointed, will play an important role as Chief Adviser on Manufacturing, reinforcing the importance of innovation as a key driver of manufacturing productivity. These changes are already meeting the Committee's recommendation that DTI should have a stronger and more strategic focus, commensurate with the importance of manufacturing.

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The Government also published, on 16 May, its Manufacturing Strategy; the first comprehensive and cohesive framework for manufacturing set out by any UK Government for over 30 years.

A key role highlighted in the strategy will be to ensure that DTI champions more effectively the importance and needs of manufacturing and provides a vigorous lead on manufacturing issues. We are working to strengthen communication and co-operation between Whitehall departments and the regions to help UK manufacturers build on the opportunities of renewed world growth. Much progress is already being made here: at Ministerial level, a close working partnership with DTI, DfES, Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) and the Treasury has already been established on training and skills issues. This is already yielding benefits, including a better skills policy balance between the supply side—what schools and colleges provide—and the demand side—what employers need from their work forces. We have also seen a joined-up UK approach to strengthening demand side leadership by employers through the creation of new Sector Skills Councils and better co-ordination of regional delivery through initiatives such as the DTI Manufacturing Advisory Service already being delivered in most regions by their designated regional centres for manufacturing excellence (RCMEs).

I am confident that, as outlined in the Command Paper, the combination of a clear and coherent manufacturing strategy with enhanced and better focused Departmental resources in DTI provides a fresh basis for a stronger, better co-ordinated approach and more effective action to contribute to a successful UK manufacturing sector.


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