Manufacturing Output

Part of Oral Answers to Questions — Trade and Industry – in the House of Commons at 1:45 pm on 19th June 1996.

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Photo of Mr Philip Oppenheim Mr Philip Oppenheim , Amber Valley 1:45 pm, 19th June 1996

In the unlikely event that the hon. Gentleman finds himself standing in the position I am in now, I suspect that he would also try to put a good spin on whatever figures are fed to him. I suspected that he might quote the Institute of Management Development report rather than the World Economic Forum report, which showed Britain's position rising from 18th to 15th place. In a totally non-partisan spirit, however, I am happy to stick to the IMD report that he quoted and point out that the countries that it shows have made the most improvement over the past decade are Hong Kong—the free market capital of Asia—and Chile and New Zealand, which perhaps have made even more progress over the past decade than this country in deregulating and opening markets. That is hardly an endorsement of Labour policies, whatever they may be today.