Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates will advise the U.K. government on how to
respond to the challenges of globalization so it can compete with the
fast-growing economies of China and India.
Gates has been appointed to a panel of 12 of the world's leading businesspeople on
a new International Business Advisory Council (Ibac) that will advise British
Treasury chief Gordon Brown and the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry
over the next three years.
Other high-tech names on the Ibac include Meg Whitman, CEO of eBay; Ratan
Tata, chairman of India's Tata Group; and Sir Ka-shing Li, chairman of the board
at Hutchison Whampoa.
They will sit alongside more traditional industrial leaders on the panel such
as Sir Terry Leahy, CEO of Tesco; Lee Scott, CEO of Wal-Mart Stores; and Lord
Browne, group CEO of BP.
The Ibac will meet once per year. The first meeting will be held later this
year at 11 Downing Street.
"There is no more important question for advanced industrial countries today
than how to rise to the challenges and opportunities of globalization," Brown
said in a statement.
"The council will advise on how we can do more to rise to the challenges we
face and ensure that the U.K. remains one of the world's key locations of choice
for high value-added activity, working together to pursue a less protectionist
world," he added.
Ibac's aim is to discuss policies to improve U.K. competitiveness, including
specific issues relating to the globalization challenge.
Andy McCue of Silicon.com reported from London.