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Industrial Strategy (Wales)

Volume 633: debated on Tuesday 12 December 2017

14. What assessment he has made of the potential effect on Wales of the Government’s Industrial Strategy. (902895)

Our industrial strategy is for the whole United Kingdom. I was pleased to hear from, and work with, people, businesses and institutions in Wales and colleagues in the Welsh Government as we developed the strategy. I have held important discussions with Welsh businesses from a range of sectors, including life sciences, steel and nuclear. Welsh innovators are well placed to benefit from the second wave of the industrial strategy challenge fund.

In the past 10 years of successive Westminster Governments, productivity in my county of Gwynedd has fallen by 10%, while productivity in central London has risen by more than 5%. Such regional inequality is evidence that Westminster is not working for Wales. Does the Minister agree that we should be seeking the tools to build our own future?

The hon. Lady is right in identifying that there are big regional disparities in productivity, and the long-term purpose of the industrial strategy is to work together with our leaders right across the country, with industries, and with universities and colleges to make sure that the drivers of improved productivity are in place. I know that the Government in Wales have participated in and endorsed the approach that we are taking, and I take her endorsement of our direction as further encouragement.