Brown takes up globalisation torch

28-11-2006

Brown takes up globalisation torch
Gordon Brown has today reasserted his belief that open markets and free trade are the cornerstones of global economic growth.

The chancellor told delegates at the annual Confederation of British Industry conference in London that such concepts are "preconditions of modern economic success across our global economy".

Appearing at his tenth consecutive CBI conference as chancellor, Mr Brown took up the event's theme of globalisation by cautioning that G7's share of global growth is predicted to fall to just one third by 2020, with Asian economic powerhouses India and China far out producing Europe.

Saying that he wanted Britain to become the "great global success story of this century", the man firmly in the driving seat to replace Tony Blair as prime minister went on to claim that the "real question is about what is the destiny of Britain".

"And there is a strong sense that we have the talent, the ability and the determination to do what we have to do to succeed - to out-innovate and outperform other countries and that to do so, we need to upskill our economy," he added.

Mr Brown outlined that the key economic challenges facing the UK include keeping inflation and interest rates down, supporting free trade and open markets, as well as promoting flexible entrepreneurial spirit.

"I want globalisation's children - the coming generation - to enjoy the vastly increased opportunities it brings," the chancellor told delegates.

Ahead of next week's pre-Budget report, he concluded: "And I believe Britain, and America so strong in the ties that bind us, not just the shared history but the shared values that link us together and give us shared purpose, can play a unique role in making globalisation work."

Also addressing the conference today was US treasury secretary Hank Paulson, the former chairman of Goldman Sachs.

He gave a glowing recommendation of the benefits of globalisation, saying: "Our modern economy is more interconnected than ever before. This is the result of decades of efforts to strengthen multilateral institutions and lower barriers to trade and capital flows. The rapid pace of technological change also brings us closer."

But Mr Paulson went on to warn that "protectionist sentiment appears to be increasing".

"Despite the known benefits of trade, the protectionist sentiment that is rising in our two nations and elsewhere around the world is predicated on a false perception that trade harms our economies," he added.

Scottish Power today became the latest British firm to accept a takeover bid from a foreign company, namely Spain's Iberdrola, with concerns that other nations are not opening their markets to the same extent as the UK.


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