The economy of England is part of the European Economic Area, Commonwealth of Nations, the European Union, the G7, the G8, the G20, the International Monetary Fund, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, the World Bank, the World Trade Organisation and the United Nations. The Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of the UK is over 2 trillion USD. Great Britain is one of the world's leading industrial nations with the sixth-largest national world economy. However, it lacks most of the raw materials needed for industry and must also import about 40 percent of its food supplies. This makes the country highly dependent on the export of manufactured goods in exchange for raw materials and foodstuffs. Manufacturing and service industries employ more than one third of the total work force.
The UK was one of the first to industrialise in the 18th century. Major industries include mechanical and electrical engineering, food processing, iron and steel, paper and printing, motor vehicles, chemicals, textiles, and aircraft. Production of oil from North Sea wells began in 1975 and by 1979 the country was self-sufficient in petroleum. Coal is also mined in large quantities. Chief commodities are dairy products, beef cattle and sheep for meat and wool. Main industries, such as coal, gas, electricity, railroad, shipbuilding, and aerospace industries are becoming increasingly privatised.
The service sector has become the largest segment of the economy with manufacturing and primary industries in decline. Tourism accounts for £96 billion of GDP which is around 9 percent of the economy. It employs over 2 million people which is around 4 percent of the working population.
London is the economic brain of England and the UK. It is one of the world's largest financial centres with the largest city GDP in Europe in excess of $570 billion.
London's largest industry is finance as the city has many banks, brokers, insurers and legal and accounting firms. The financial districts include Canary Wharf to the east of the City with the global headquarters of HSBC and Barclays - two of the largest banks in the world.
These are far from the only headquarters in London. More than half of the UK's top 100 listed companies and over 100 of Europe's 500 largest companies are headquartered in central London. Over 70 percent of the FTSE 100 are located within London's metropolitan area, and 75 percent of Fortune 500 companies have offices in London. London is also the headquarters for four of the world's six largest law firms. The BBC is a key employer with headquarters in the city. Many national newspapers also come out of London. Soho is the centre of London's post-production industry. About half a million employees work in manufacturing and construction.
Tourism is one of primary industries for England and hence, London. It is the most visited city in the world with over 30 million international visitors per year. The Tourist Board for London, Visit London, provides a host of services for the city.
Once the largest port in the world, the Port of London is now the second-largest in the United Kingdom. It handles about 48 million tonnes of cargo each year.
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