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World Trade Organisation

Mr. Chaytor: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what recent research reports he has received on the global economic impact of the first five years of the World Trade Organisation trading regime on (a) developed and (b) developing countries. [105586]

Mr. Caborn: My Department receives many academic articles which seek to analyse developments in the world trading system since the formation of the WTO and the contributions made by that institution to these developments. These articles appear in academic journals including The World Economy and Journal of World Trade.


Mr. Crausby: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if he will make a statement about launch investment contracts in the aero-engine sector. [107147]

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Mr. Alan Johnson: Under previous launch aid contracts between the Government and Rolls-Royce plc, that company is entitled to a reduction in the amount of levy which it pays in respect of engines which are derivatives of engines which have previously benefited from launch aid, in recognition of the extra investment which the company has made in producing those derivatives. Agreement has recently been reached between my Department and Rolls-Royce plc on the revised rates of levy which are payable on certain derivatives of the RB211-524, V2500, Spey, Tay and Industrial RB211 engines. My Department will be seeking a Spring Supplementary Estimate in due course which will include provision for the repayment to Rolls-Royce plc of certain of the amounts which have been overpaid by that company in respect of these derivative engines.


Mrs. Curtis-Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what orders his Department has made under the Deregulation and Contracting Out Act 1994 in each year since 1994; and what plans it has to introduce such orders. [106085]

Dr. Howells [holding answer 20 January 2000]: The Deregulation and Contracting Out Act 1994 contains two order-making powers: for deregulation orders (Sections 1-4 of the Act) and contracting out orders (Sections 69-70). The Department has made use of the powers as follows:

In addition the Department has consulted on proposals to use the deregulation order-making power to provide a mechanism for redenominating share capital.

    The Contracting Out (Functions in relation to the Registration of Companies) Order 1995 SI 1995/1013

    The Contracting Out (Functions of the Official Receiver) Order 1995 SI 1995/1386

    The Contracting Out (Functions relating to Wireless Telegraphy) Order 1995 SI 1996/2290.

In addition the draft Contracting Out (Functions in relation to Petroleum Royalty Payments) Order 2000 is currently being considered by Parliament.

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Single Currency

Mr. Mitchell: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what representations he has received from overseas investors in the United Kingdom in respect of the UK's non-adoption of the single currency. [106312]

Mrs. Liddell: My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State regularly receives views from overseas investors in the UK on a range of issues, including the single currency. The Government's position on EMU membership is well understood by investors.

The UK remains the premier location in Europe for inward investment and the Government are committed to providing a stable economic framework to ensure that this remains the case.

Consumer Protection

Mr. Denis Murphy: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what progress is being made to extend the law in relation to a cooling off period to protect consumers who (a) purchase holidays and (b) join a holiday club following a high pressure intensive sales presentation. [106933]

Dr. Howells: As announced in our White Paper "Modern Markets: Confident Consumers", the Government plan to review aspects of timeshare legislation and whether it needs updating. Among the issues to be reviewed will be holiday/vacation club schemes. However, my Department has received no representations for a cooling off period for consumers generally purchasing holidays and we have no plans to introduce one. We will be consulting on our timeshare proposals shortly.

Garment Industry

Mr. Rowlands: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how many people were employed in the garment industry in the United Kingdom (a) in the last 12 months in which figures are available, (b) in 1979 and (c) in 1992. [106922]

Mr. Alan Johnson: The information is available in the following table:

United Kingdom employee jobs--Wearing Apparel

Monthly dataThousand


1. Comprises Standard Industrial Classification division 18--manufacture of wearing apparel; dressing and dyeing of fur

2. Rounded to thousands

3. Not seasonally adjusted


Office for National Statistics

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Soya Imports

Joan Ruddock: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry further to his answer of 20 January 2000, Official Report, columns 520-21W, how much soya was imported from countries other than the United States of America in (a) 1996, (b) 1997, (c) 1998 and (d) 1999; and how much was GM soya. [106962]

Mr. Caborn: The available information is given in the following table. Statistics compiled by HM Customs and Excise do not distinguish between GM soya and non-GM soya.

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UK imports of soya from countries other than the USA

SITC/CN and description199619971998January to September 1999
Oil cake and residues of soya beans231,866210,606166,801109,028
Soya beans124,461104,79588,50954,706
Flours and meals of soya beans3,90316,0709,370596
Crude soya bean oil17,40510,7118,7283,762
Refined soya bean oil19,97124,92626,09410,091


Overseas Trade Statistics of the United Kingdom, HM Customs and Excise

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Postal Services Commission

Ms Christine Russell: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry when the Chief Executive of the Postal Services Commission will be appointed. [107146]

Mr. Alan Johnson: Mr. Martin Stanley has been appointed as Chief Executive of the Postal Services Commission. He is a serving senior civil servant with considerable experience of working with industry.


Ms Perham: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if he will make a statement about the availability of Shipbuilding Intervention Fund grants for 2000. [107148]

Mr. Alan Johnson: I have decided to extend the Shipbuilding Intervention Fund for currently eligible shipbuilding yards until 31 December 2000. Last year's rates were the highest possible within the EU's Shipbuilding Regulation for new-build orders--and the Government will be keeping those rates for this year in a bid to help UK shipbuilders win more contracts and compete overseas.

The rates of support will be unchanged from those in 1999, namely 9 per cent. for large ships and 4½ per cent. for small ships. Both rates are inclusive of Shipbuilders' Relief of 2 per cent. I will also be extending the Shipbuilding Intervention Fund for conversion contracts at 2.25 per cent.

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