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'UK to sell its strengths in India'

Gordon Brown will ask for private sector experts' help in his budget speech, says Nabanita Sircar.

india Updated: Mar 21, 2006 18:10 IST

The Chancellor Gordon Brown is expected to call on private sector experts to help Britain sell its strengths in India, China and other emerging nations, in his Budget speech on Wednesday.

Brown, reportedly is planning a shake-up for UK Trade and Investment (UKTI), under a new chief executive, Andrew Cahn, who was industry director at British Airways. Brown wants a "transformation" of the agency so that the British economy is sold in an aggressive and ambitious way.

He is expected to ask Cahn to alter the way Britain is marketed, in India and China.

He wants UKTI to work with the academic and business communities and take on board technology experts to attract more business research and development to Britain from these countries.

Fighting competition from economies like India and China, during the Budget, Brown is expected to announce a big package of measures to boost Britain's research effort in schools and universities, and to increase investment in research and development.

The Chancellor will publish Treasury research claiming that Britain is well placed to grasp the opportunities of globalisation. He will claim that it is the most stable economy in the world, with low inflation, low interest rates and rising growth, flexible labour and product markets with record levels of employment and still rising numbers of job vacancies, and a tradition of openness and internationalism.

Brown will say that, in sectors such as financial services, aerospace, pharmaceuticals, creative industries and design, science and medical research, Britain is a leading world centre, attracting multinational companies to set up headquarters in London. But he will also say that with expanding globalisation and continuous growth in new sources of competition, Britain cannot be complacent, and the Budget must take further steps to lock in these advantages and boost Britain's competitiveness in these key sectors.

First Published: Mar 21, 2006 18:10 IST