Chancellor establishes international business advisory council

A new international business advisory council, comprising some of the world's top business leaders, has been established for the UK, Chancellor Gordon Brown has announced.

Microsoft chief Bill Gates and Tesco CEO Sir Terry Leahy will be among the council members who will advise the Chancellor and Secretary of State for Trade and Industry Alan Johnson over the next three years on policies to improve UK competitiveness, including specific issues relating to the globalisation challenge.

The Chancellor said that all the council members were renowned internationally for their expertise and all had first-hand experience of global business across a range of sectors and regions.

The other members of the council are: Bernard Arnault, Chairman and CEO of LVMH; Lord Browne, Group Chief Executive of BP; Dr Jean-Pierre Garnier, CEO of GlaxoSmithKline; Sir Ka-shing Li, Chairman of the Board of Hutchinson Whampoa Ltd; Sir John Rose, CEO of Rolls Royce; Robert Rubin, Director and Chairman of the Executive Committee of Citigroup Inc; Lee Scott, President and CEO of Wal-Mart; Ratan Tata, Chairman of the Tata Group; Meg Whitman, President and CEO of eBay; and James Wolfensohn, Special Envoy for Disengagement and Former President of the World Bank.

Mr Brown said: "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."

The council, which will run for three years, will meet once a year at 11 Downing Street. The first meeting will be held later this year.


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