§ 26. Mr. Sheerman
To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what assessment he has made of the competitiveness of UK industry in relation to its major European rivals. 
§ Mrs. Liddell
Competitiveness depends on a wide range of factors as discussed in the Government's Competitiveness White Paper. Following on from the White Paper, the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry published, in December 1999, a set of indicators which provided a systematic assessment of the UK's competitiveness against the world's leading economies, including its major European rivals.239W
The overall message from the Indicators is that the UK is beginning to succeed as a knowledge driven economy, but in many areas has some way to go to match the standards of the best.