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Ratan Tata to advise UK minister

The Indian business magnate is part of a 12-member group that will advise the Chancellor of Exchequer G Brown.
None | By Nabanita Sircar, London
UPDATED ON MAR 22, 2006 11:18 PM IST

Ratan Tata, chairman of India's Tata group will join luminaries like Bill Gates, chairman of Microsoft as part of a 12-member group, consisting the heads of the world's biggest companies to advise Chancellor of the Exchequer Gordon Brown on policies to improve the British economy's competitiveness.

The International Business Advisory Council (IBAC), which was launched on Monday, will meet once a year at 11 Downing Street, the chancellor's residence, for the next three years to give their views on how Britain can adjust to intensifying global economic competition.

Brown's global council

Ratan Tata, Tata Group

Bill Gates, Microsoft

Sir Ka-Shing Li, Hutchison Whampoa

Bernard Arnault, LVMH

Lord Browne, BP

Jean-Pierre Garnier, GlaxoSmithKline

Sir Terry Leahy, Tesco

Sir John Rose, Rolls-Royce

Robert Rubin, Citigroup

Lee Scott, Wal-Mart

Meg Whitman, eBay

James Wolfensohn, former World Bank President

The first meeting will take place some time later this year. Britain is keen to sell its strengths in emerging economies, specifically India and China. Brown's budget includes these countries in the UK's long-term economic plans.

The IBAC will also include Li Ka-shing, chairman of Hutchinson, along with Lord Browne, chief executive of BP, the oil company and Bernard Arnault, chairman of LVMH, the French luxury goods group.

Brown has also recruited America's Lee Scott, chief executive of Wal-Mart, the world's biggest retailer, which owns Asda; Meg Whitman, chief executive of Ebay and Robert Rubin, chairman of Citigroup and a former US Treasury secretary under Bill Clinton.

Brown said the panel would advise the country's policy-makers on how Britain should face the challenges posed by globalisation and exploit its strengths in skills, innovation and infrastructure.

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