Separate regional figures are not provided but nationally, in the past five years, exports have risen by 33 per cent. to £134 billion, with east midlands companies making a full contribution to that growth.
I warmly congratulate my hon. Friend on his new appointment and wish him well in the future. Does he agree that an important contribution to that export growth comes from firms, in Hinckley in my constituency and round about, such as Profilex, Nelson Burgess and Triumph Motorcycles, which is the country's second largest motor cycle company? Is it not remarkable that the May Confederation of British Industry survey found that the east midlands was leading Britain's export growth?
First, I thank my hon. Friend for his kind sentiments. It is nice to be released from the Treasury and I am looking forward to my new freedom as Minister for Trade. Secondly, I join him in welcoming the fact that the east midlands is in the vanguard of this country's exports growth. That is a tremendous performance for that region and his constituency; a performance that I am sure will be sustained under Conservative policies of free trade and free enterprise, unlike Labour policies of intervention and minimum wages.