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Ratan Tata to advise UK on economy

The chairman of the Tata group will join Bill Gates to advise UK on policies to improve its economic competitiveness.
None | By, London
PUBLISHED ON MAR 23, 2006 05:38 PM IST

Ratan Tata, chairman of the Tata group, will join luminaries like Bill Gates, chairman of Microsoft to advise the UK Chancellor of the Exchequer Gordon Brown on policies to improve the British economy's competitiveness.

He will be part of a 12-member group, consisting of the heads of the world's biggest companies.

The Council's first members are renowned internationally for their expertise and have first-hand experience of global business across a range of sectors and regions.

Announcing the new council Gordon Brown said, "I am delighted that some of the world's leading business people have agreed to join this new Advisory Council. The Council will advise on how we can do more to rise to the challenges we face and ensure that the UK remains one of the world's key locations of choice for high value-added activity, working together to pursue a less protectionist world."

Alan Johnson, the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry, said, "Meeting the challenges and opportunities of globalisation is at the heart of our drive to create the conditions for business success."

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 intensify global economic competition. 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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