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Irony of minister's export call; Initiative is launched on ex-Rover site.

A GOVERNMENT minister launched a new initiative to boost British exports from what was once the paint shop of Rover in Coventry.

Trade minister Richard Caborn was touring the region to launch an "export toolkit" which enables bosses with a laptop computer and mobile phone to access export information from a one-stop internet site at any time and from anywhere in the world.

He said exporting was essential for the future of the Midlands economy but denied that the value of the initiative was diminished by the strong pound which has held back many exporters.Mr Caborn said: "We want to work with firms to see how they can manage change. It is vital in the Midlands as many companies contemplate the repercussions of the situation at Rover.

"We want to encourage more firms here in the Midlands, particularly small and medium-sized businesses, to start selling or investing overseas."

He was speaking to bosses of Mission Foods, the tortilla and tortilla chip maker which is creating 350 jobs at Coventry Business Park.

The Canley site is in the shadow of the Standard Triumph social club - the only remaining part of the former Rover empire in Coventry.

The pounds 16million factory, the largest investment in the UK by a Mexican firm, is due to open for production in seven weeks time.
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Author:Williams, Alison
Publication:Coventry Evening Telegraph (England)
Date:May 5, 2000
Words:220
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