Tata to Britain?s rescue with advice on economy

Published on Mar 23, 2006 01:40 AM IST

HALF-A-CENTURY AFTER J.R.D. Tata started the Tata Administrative Services along the lines of the British Civil Service, Britain's economy will get Indian help in its search to become more competitive.

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None | ByNABANITA Sircar and SABARINATH M., London/mumbai

HALF-A-CENTURY AFTER J.R.D. Tata started the Tata Administrative Services along the lines of the British Civil Service, Britain's economy will get Indian help in its search to become more competitive.

More specifically, the help of Ratan Tata, JRD's nephew.

Ratan Tata, chairman of the Tata group, has been appointed a member of the International Business Advisory Council (IBAC) which advises UK Chancellor of the Exchequer Gordon Brown on policies to improve the British economy's competitiveness.

He will join luminaries like Bill Gates (chairman, Microsoft) and Lee Scott (CEO, Wal-Mart) on the 12-member council.

Reacting to his appointment, Ratan Tata told the Hindustan Times: "I'm honoured and privileged at this appointment. I hope I can make a meaningful contribution."

Launched on Monday, the IBAC will meet once a year at 11 Downing Street -- the chancellor's residence -- for the next three years to give its views on how Britain can adjust to intensifying global economic competition.

The first meeting will take place some time later this year.

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

Britain is keen to sell its strengths in emerging economies, especially India and China. Brown's budget, presented on Wednesday, includes these countries in the UK's long-term economic plans.

The IBAC also includes Li Ka-shing (chairman, Hutchinson), Lord Browne (chief executive, BP), Bernard Arnault (chairman of LVMH, the French luxury goods group), Meg Whitman (chief executive, Ebay) and Robert Rubin (chairman, Citigroup).

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