Heseltine berates UK managers

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The Independent Online
MICHAEL HESELTINE, President of the Board of Trade, told British industrialists last night they were well behind their competitors abroad and suggested some managers had overblown views of themselves.

In a speech to the Institute of Directors' annual meeting in London, he said it was unacceptable that on productivity Britain was 25 per cent behind its main European competitors.

Citing a recent survey which could only identify 2 per cent of British companies as world class and 42 per cent as world class contenders, he said this left more than 50 per cent with a lot to do. 'We can argue about the precise figures. I don't think it is possible to argue about the message.'

Mr Heseltine said Britain's share of world trade in manufactured goods had 'declined remorselessly' - stabilising at just 6 per cent, compared with 33 per cent in 1914.

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