The british economy
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England is highly industrialized and the earliest developments of modern industry took place there. Many of important inventions, such as invention of the steam engine by James Watt, were made by Englishmen.
Britain’s main industry was coal mining. Glasgow and Newcastle became great centers of engineering and shipbuilding. Lancashire produced cotton goods and south-west Yorkshire woolens. Sheffield concentrated on the production of iron and steel and Birmingham developed light engineering and later became the chief center for making vehicles.
More recently oil and natural gas have taken place of coal. In addition to them Britain’s industry comprises heavy and light engineering, electrical and electronical engineering, aeroengines, shipbuilding, chemical industry, consumer goods and textiles industry and fish processing factories. Scotland is famous for its whisky distilleries. Banking, insurance and tourism have also become important industrial branches in Britain. Insurance is one of its most profitable exports. The City of London has the world’s largest insurance market.
Although only 2,2 per cent of the working population are engaged in agriculture and fishing, they feed nearly two-thirds of Britain’s inhabitants. Agricultural production includes cattle, sheep and poultry, wheat, barley and potatoes.
Britain is a member of the European Union and half of Britain’s trade is with its Union partners. Another major trading partner is the USA.
Currency valid in GB is 1 pound which has 100 pence.