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2 Nov 2004 : Column 209W—continued


John Barrett: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what discussions he has had with Scottish Ministers regarding efforts to raise the public awareness of the new laws on firework misuse. [195158]

Mr. Sutcliffe: My Department has been working closely with the Scottish Executive not only on the substance of the new Fireworks Regulations 2004—but also on issues to do with publicity. The DTI is also running it annual Fireworks Safety Awareness Campaign which covers the whole of the UK. This year there is particular emphasis on changes to the law which the Fireworks Regulations 2004 introduced.
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Gas Supplies

Mr. David Stewart: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what assessment she has made of when the UK will cease to be self-sufficient in gas supply. [195117]

Mr. Mike O'Brien: Our most recent assessment is that the UK may be a net importer of gas from 2005.

Glass Packaging Sector

Mr. Bill O'Brien: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what assistance her Department is offering to the glass container industry to develop new markets for glass containers; and if she will make a statement. [194722]

Jacqui Smith: The Government continues to provide assistance to manufacturing industry, which includes the glass container industry. I was able to see at first hand one such example of this support when I opened a new green glass furnace at Rexam Glass in July 2003. The plant had received substantial Regional Selective Assistance from my Department.

For companies looking for assistance to develop additional markets, UK Trade and Investment supports UK companies, in their efforts to identify potential new markets.

A recent scoping mission by UK Trade and Investment's Giftware Sector (which includes some of the glass container industry) has identified the top 10 key markets for the sector. Further information can be obtained from the UKT&I's website


Tom Brake: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry which 40 countries made the greatest value of exports to the UK in each year from 2001 to 2004. [193725]

Mr. Alexander: According to information published by HM Customs and Excise, the top 40 sources of UK imports of goods, in each year from 2001 to 2003 and for January to August 2004 are as given in the following table. Comprehensive information on imports of services, by partner country, is not available.
Top 40 sources of UK imports of goods



August 2004
7Irish RepublicIrish RepublicIrish RepublicIrish Republic
10Hong KongChinaJapanJapan
11ChinaHong KongNorwayNorway
12NorwayNorwayHong KongHong Kong
16South AfricaDenmarkSouth AfricaSingapore
17FinlandSouth KoreaDenmarkTurkey
18TaiwanSouth AfricaSingaporeSouth Africa
19South KoreaFinlandTurkeyRussia
20DenmarkTaiwanAustriaSouth Korea
22RussiaAustriaSouth KoreaTaiwan
32PolandCzech RepublicCzech RepublicHungary
33IndonesiaIndonesiaHungaryCzech Republic
34Czech RepublicBotswanaBotswanaSaudi Arabia
36Saudi ArabiaIsraelIsraelIndonesia
38Puerto RicoSaudi ArabiaSaudi ArabiaRomania
39HungaryPuerto RicoPhilippinesVietnam
40MexicoGreeceRomaniaNew Zealand

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Mr. Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how many UK jobs are in manufacturing; and what percentage this represents. [192569]

Mr. Alexander [holding answer 21 October 2004]: I refer the hon. Member to the ONS Report of June 2004, a copy of which has been placed in both Libraries of the House.

Passport Applications (Postal Security)

John Cryer: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what security measures are in place within the Post Office and Royal Mail to prevent the theft of passport applications and accompanying documents. [194734]

Mr. Sutcliffe: Royal Mail Group regards maintaining the integrity of the mail as one of its top priorities. The company has its own dedicated security and investigations unit. A recent further review of its procedures and practices in the letters business has resulted in the implementation of additional measures to improve security, and the recruitment, vetting and training of staff.

For passport applications Post Office Ltd. recommend customers use its Check and Send service, available at selected Post Office branches, which checks the passport application form for common errors; sends the application form to the appropriate passport office; provides the applicant with a receipt; and provides the applicant with a phone number in order to track the progress of their application.


Mr. Greg Knight: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry which regional development agencies in England have spent money on radio advertising in the last five years for which figures are available; and how much each agency has spent. [194496]

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Jacqui Smith [holding answer 28 October 2004]: None of the regional development agencies have identified any radio advertising to promote the agency. Some agencies have contributed to campaigns or projects which have used radio advertising as part of their promotional activities.

Research and Development

Mr. Stephen O'Brien: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what the budget is for the grant for research and development for each year between 2004 to 2007. [193786]

Nigel Griffiths: The baseline budget for Grant for Research and Development between 2004 and 2007 is shown in the following table.
£ million

Baseline budget

In 2004–05 DTI has been able to increase the expenditure on Grant for Research and Development to £36 million.


Sir Archy Kirkwood: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what estimate she has had made of the likely change in the level of textile imports in 2005. [193158]

Mr. Alexander: EU quota restrictions under the Multi-Fibre Arrangement (MFA) against WTO member countries will be removed on 1 January 2005. Given the large number of different factors involved in commercial buying decisions—such as price, quality, transport costs, proximity to market and speed of reaction to fashion changes, etc.—it is difficult to give an accurate forecast of the likely rise in imports. However a recent WTO study estimated that imports into the EU market will rise from 52.5 per cent. to 53.0 per cent. for textiles and from 48.5 per cent. to 51.0 per cent. for clothing. The higher increase for clothing imports reflects the fact that the clothing sector has more quota restrictions than the textiles sector.

Sir Archy Kirkwood: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what the value of exports of textiles (a) including clothing and (b) excluding clothing from (i) the UK and (ii) Scotland was over the last three years in (A) cash and (B) real terms. [193184]

Mr. Alexander: Available export figures are as follows:
Current prices(30) (£ million)
Constant prices(31)
Textiles and
Of which:
Index 2001 = 100
Scotland 3

(30) Source:
HM Customs and Excise Regional Trade in Goods (Overseas Trade statistics basis).
(31) Source:
Office for National statistics Monthly Review of External Trade Statistics (Balance of Payments basis).
(32) Identified to traders in Scotland.
Standard International Trade Classification division 65, textile yarns & fabrics, and division 84, apparel & clothing accessories.

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