Gordon Brown goes to Gulf for cash to aid British industry

Gordon Brown will arrive in the Gulf today to ask oil-rich states to use their vast wealth to steady the fragile world economy and to boost British business.

The day after Barclays raised £5.8 billion from funds in Abu Dhabi and Qatar, to avoid taking money from the Treasury, the Prime Minister will lead 27 senior business leaders on a mission to attract further Gulf investment in British companies.

Downing Street says that Middle Eastern states are critical to refinancing and stabilising global markets after multi-billion-dollar boosts to their income from oil because of the recent price spike.

No 10 denied yesterday that this amounted to Britain going cap in hand to the Middle East, echoing James Callaghan’s decision in 1976 as Prime Minister to seek funds from the International Monetary Fund. Mr Brown’s spokesman confirmed, however, that the sovereign wealth funds were an important target for British trade. He said that their significant wealth and reserves could “contribute to the refinancing of the global financial system.”



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