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Volume 406: debated on Monday 9 June 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if she will make a statement on manufacturing industry in the Greater London area. [117149]

There are approximately 20,000 manufacturing firms in London directly employing some 300,000 people. London provides 10 per cent. of the UK's manufacturing output and £12 billion of GDP, larger than transport, distribution, education and hotel and catering. London's manufacturing productivity is 23 per cent. higher than the UK average.The Government's Manufacturing Strategy, published last year, identified seven key areas of activity for Government and industry that are vital for manufacturing success. We are taking action in all of those areas—for example with the setting up of the Manufacturing Advisory Service—to help British manufacturers improve productivity in very difficult global conditions.The London Development Agency is establishing a Production Industries Commission to develop a pan-London strategy to sustain and enhance the competitiveness of businesses in the production industries sector. The Commission, which will be business led, expects to meet for the first time in September.