Calling for Britain to be more outward-facing, Prime Minister Gordon Brown today sought stronger commercial links with India and China to help the country emerge from recession.

Addressing the Confederation of British Industry, Brown said Britain will soon sign new strategic partnerships with India, and announced that he will host an international investment conference at which Indian and other foreign investors will be told of benefits of investing in Britain.

The CBI is Britain’s biggest employers’ organisation which represents over 200,000 companies.

Brown said: “Today we have over 400 Chinese companies now operating in Britain. In our new growth strategy, I want not just hundreds but thousands of Chinese companies in Britain and British companies in China.”

He added: “I know that we will soon sign new strategic partnerships with India. Trade relations with the United States are strong. So we need an outward-facing Britain, attracting inward investment and sustaining high value added jobs.”

Britain is currently under the worst period of recession since records began. Trade and industry has been adversely affected by credit crunch, leading to widespread unemployment.

Brown said: “We are now in a new age of global change. And we should have confidence that, together, we can and will establish Britain’s place at the centre of this global economy.

As an outward-looking nation seeking sustainable growth in a world where trade is set to increase rapidly, a priority must be to attract inward investment - and we should be proud to show our strengths in these industries to the world.”

The CBI conference was also addressed by Conservative leader David Cameron and Liberal Democrats leader Nick Clegg.

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