Photostream : German Chancellor Angela Merkel meets British Prime Minister David Cameron

German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron chat during the 47th Conference on Security Policy in Munich February 5, 2011. REUTERS/Michael Dalder

German Chancellor Angela Merkel speaks with British Prime Minister David Cameron at the 47th Munich Security Conference in the southern German city of Munich, February 5, 2011. Merkel called on Egyptians to show patience, saying regime change must be properly organised, citing her own experience in German reunification in 1990. (Photo by ODD ANDERSEN/AFP/Getty Images)

British Prime Minister David Cameron, left, and German Chancellor Angela Merkel attend a panel discussion during the Conference on Security Policy in Munich, Germany, Saturday, Feb. 5, 2011. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein)

German Chancellor Angela Merkel sits besides Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron during the 47th Conference on Security Policy in Munich February 5, 2011. REUTERS/Jens Meyer/Pool

Full text: David Cameron's Munich speech on segregation, radicalisation and Islamic extremism

Photo provided by Munich Security Conference shows Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron delivering a speech at the International Conference on Security Policy in Munich, southern Germany, Saturday, Feb 5, 2011. (AP Photo/Munich Security Conference, Kai Moerk)

Feb 6 (KATAKAMI.COM) — British Prime Minister David Cameron has delivered a speech setting out his view on radicalisation and Islamic extremism.

Read the speech  :

Today I want to focus my remarks on terrorism, but first let me address one point. Some have suggested that by holding a strategic defence and security review, Britain is somehow retreating from an activist role in the world. That is the opposite of the truth. Yes, we are dealing with our budget deficit, but we are also making sure our defences are strong. Britain will continue to meet the NATO 2% target for defence spending. We will still have the fourth largest military defence budget in the world. At the same time, we are putting that money to better use, focusing on conflict prevention and building a much more flexible army. That is not retreat; it is hard headed.

Every decision we take has three aims in mind. First, to continue to support the NATO mission in Afghanistan . Second, to reinforce our actual military capability. As Chancellor Merkel’s government is showing right here in Germany, what matters is not bureaucracy, which frankly Europe needs a lot less of, but the political will to build military capability that we need as nations and allies, that we can deliver in the field. Third, we want to make sure that Britain is protected from the new and various threats that we face. That is why we are investing in a national cyber security programme that I know William Hague talked about yesterday, and we are sharpening our readiness to act on counter-proliferation.

But the biggest threat that we face comes from terrorist attacks, some of which are, sadly, carried out by our own citizens. It is important to stress that terrorism is not linked exclusively to any one religion or ethnic group. My country, the United Kingdom , still faces threats from dissident republicans in Northern Ireland . Anarchist attacks have occurred recently in Greece and in Italy , and of course, yourselves in Germany were long scarred by terrorism from the Red Army Faction. Nevertheless, we should acknowledge that this threat comes in Europe overwhelmingly from young men who follow a completely perverse, warped interpretation of Islam, and who are prepared to blow themselves up and kill their fellow citizens. Last week at Davos I rang the alarm bell for the urgent need for Europe to recover its economic dynamism, and today, though the subject is complex, my message on security is equally stark. We will not defeat terrorism simply by the action we take outside our borders. Europe needs to wake up to what is happening in our own countries. Of course, that means strengthening, as Angela has said, the security aspects of our response, on tracing plots, on stopping them, on counter-surveillance and intelligence gathering.

But this is just part of the answer. We have got to get to the root of the problem, and we need to be absolutely clear on where the origins of where these terrorist attacks lie. That is the existence of an ideology, Islamist extremism. We should be equally clear what we mean by this term, and we must distinguish it from Islam. Islam is a religion observed peacefully and devoutly by over a billion people. Islamist extremism is a political ideology supported by a minority. At the furthest end are those who back terrorism to promote their ultimate goal: an entire Islamist realm, governed by an interpretation of Sharia. Move along the spectrum, and you find people who may reject violence, but who accept various parts of the extremist worldview, including real hostility towards Western democracy and liberal values. It is vital that we make this distinction between religion on the one hand, and political ideology on the other. Time and again, people equate the two. They think whether someone is an extremist is dependent on how much they observe their religion. So, they talk about moderate Muslims as if all devout Muslims must be extremist. This is profoundly wrong. Someone can be a devout Muslim and not be an extremist. We need to be clear: Islamist extremism and Islam are not the same thing.

This highlights, I think, a significant problem when discussing the terrorist threat that we face. There is so much muddled thinking about this whole issue. On the one hand, those on the hard right ignore this distinction between Islam and Islamist extremism, and just say that Islam and the West are irreconcilable – that there is a clash of civilizations. So, it follows: we should cut ourselves off from this religion, whether that is through forced repatriation, favoured by some fascists, or the banning of new mosques, as is suggested in some parts of Europe . These people fuel Islamophobia, and I completely reject their argument. If they want an example of how Western values and Islam can be entirely compatible, they should look at what’s happened in the past few weeks on the streets of Tunis and Cairo : hundreds of thousands of people demanding the universal right to free elections and democracy.

The point is this: the ideology of extremism is the problem; Islam emphatically is not. Picking a fight with the latter will do nothing to help us to confront the former. On the other hand, there are those on the soft left who also ignore this distinction. They lump all Muslims together, compiling a list of grievances, and argue that if only governments addressed these grievances, the terrorism would stop. So, they point to the poverty that so many Muslims live in and say, ‘Get rid of this injustice and the terrorism will end.’ But this ignores the fact that many of those found guilty of terrorist offences in the UK and elsewhere have been graduates and often middle class. They point to grievances about Western foreign policy and say, ‘Stop riding roughshod over Muslim countries and the terrorism will end.’ But there are many people, Muslim and non-Muslim alike, who are angry about Western foreign policy, but who don’t resort to acts of terrorism. They also point to the profusion of unelected leaders across the Middle East and say, ‘Stop propping these people up and you will stop creating the conditions for extremism to flourish.’ But this raises the question: if it’s the lack of democracy that is the problem, why are there so many extremists in free and open societies?

Now, I’m not saying that these issues of poverty and grievance about foreign policy are not important. Yes, of course we must tackle them. Of course we must tackle poverty. Yes, we must resolve the sources of tension, not least in Palestine , and yes, we should be on the side of openness and political reform in the Middle East . On Egypt , our position should be clear. We want to see the transition to a more broadly-based government, with the proper building blocks of a free and democratic society. I simply don’t accept that there is somehow a dead end choice between a security state on the one hand, and an Islamist one on the other. But let us not fool ourselves. These are just contributory factors. Even if we sorted out all of the problems that I have mentioned, there would still be this terrorism. I believe the root lies in the existence of this extremist ideology. I would argue an important reason so many young Muslims are drawn to it comes down to a question of identity.

What I am about to say is drawn from the British experience, but I believe there are general lessons for us all. In the UK , some young men find it hard to identify with the traditional Islam practiced at home by their parents, whose customs can seem staid when transplanted to modern Western countries. But these young men also find it hard to identify with Britain too, because we have allowed the weakening of our collective identity. Under the doctrine of state multiculturalism, we have encouraged different cultures to live separate lives, apart from each other and apart from the mainstream. We’ve failed to provide a vision of society to which they feel they want to belong. We’ve even tolerated these segregated communities behaving in ways that run completely counter to our values.

So, when a white person holds objectionable views, racist views for instance, we rightly condemn them. But when equally unacceptable views or practices come from someone who isn’t white, we’ve been too cautious frankly – frankly, even fearful – to stand up to them. The failure, for instance, of some to confront the horrors of forced marriage, the practice where some young girls are bullied and sometimes taken abroad to marry someone when they don’t want to, is a case in point. This hands-off tolerance has only served to reinforce the sense that not enough is shared. And this all leaves some young Muslims feeling rootless. And the search for something to belong to and something to believe in can lead them to this extremist ideology. Now for sure, they don’t turn into terrorists overnight, but what we see – and what we see in so many European countries – is a process of radicalisation.

Internet chatrooms are virtual meeting places where attitudes are shared, strengthened and validated. In some mosques, preachers of hate can sow misinformation about the plight of Muslims elsewhere. In our communities, groups and organisations led by young, dynamic leaders promote separatism by encouraging Muslims to define themselves solely in terms of their religion. All these interactions can engender a sense of community, a substitute for what the wider society has failed to supply. Now, you might say, as long as they’re not hurting anyone, what is the problem with all this?

Well, I’ll tell you why. As evidence emerges about the backgrounds of those convicted of terrorist offences, it is clear that many of them were initially influenced by what some have called ‘non-violent extremists’, and they then took those radical beliefs to the next level by embracing violence. And I say this is an indictment of our approach to these issues in the past. And if we are to defeat this threat, I believe it is time to turn the page on the failed policies of the past. So first, instead of ignoring this extremist ideology, we – as governments and as societies – have got to confront it, in all its forms. And second, instead of encouraging people to live apart, we need a clear sense of shared national identity that is open to everyone.

Let me briefly take each in turn. First, confronting and undermining this ideology. Whether they are violent in their means or not, we must make it impossible for the extremists to succeed. Now, for governments, there are some obvious ways we can do this. We must ban preachers of hate from coming to our countries. We must also proscribe organisations that incite terrorism against people at home and abroad. Governments must also be shrewder in dealing with those that, while not violent, are in some cases part of the problem. We need to think much harder about who it’s in the public interest to work with. Some organisations that seek to present themselves as a gateway to the Muslim community are showered with public money despite doing little to combat extremism. As others have observed, this is like turning to a right-wing fascist party to fight a violent white supremacist movement. So we should properly judge these organisations: do they believe in universal human rights – including for women and people of other faiths? Do they believe in equality of all before the law? Do they believe in democracy and the right of people to elect their own government? Do they encourage integration or separation? These are the sorts of questions we need to ask. Fail these tests and the presumption should be not to engage with organisations – so, no public money, no sharing of platforms with ministers at home.

At the same time, we must stop these groups from reaching people in publicly-funded institutions like universities or even, in the British case, prisons. Now, some say, this is not compatible with free speech and intellectual inquiry. Well, I say, would you take the same view if these were right-wing extremists recruiting on our campuses? Would you advocate inaction if Christian fundamentalists who believed that Muslims are the enemy were leading prayer groups in our prisons? And to those who say these non-violent extremists are actually helping to keep young, vulnerable men away from violence, I say nonsense.

Would you allow the far right groups a share of public funds if they promise to help you lure young white men away from fascist terrorism? Of course not. But, at root, challenging this ideology means exposing its ideas for what they are, and that is completely unjustifiable. We need to argue that terrorism is wrong in all circumstances. We need to argue that prophecies of a global war of religion pitting Muslims against the rest of the world are nonsense.

Now, governments cannot do this alone. The extremism we face is a distortion of Islam, so these arguments, in part, must be made by those within Islam. So let us give voice to those followers of Islam in our own countries – the vast, often unheard majority – who despise the extremists and their worldview. Let us engage groups that share our aspirations.

Now, second, we must build stronger societies and stronger identities at home. Frankly, we need a lot less of the passive tolerance of recent years and a much more active, muscular liberalism. A passively tolerant society says to its citizens, as long as you obey the law we will just leave you alone. It stands neutral between different values. But I believe a genuinely liberal country does much more; it believes in certain values and actively promotes them. Freedom of speech, freedom of worship, democracy, the rule of law, equal rights regardless of race, sex or sexuality. It says to its citizens, this is what defines us as a society: to belong here is to believe in these things. Now, each of us in our own countries, I believe, must be unambiguous and hard-nosed about this defence of our liberty.

There are practical things that we can do as well. That includes making sure that immigrants speak the language of their new home and ensuring that people are educated in the elements of a common culture and curriculum. Back home, we’re introducing National Citizen Service: a two-month programme for sixteen-year-olds from different backgrounds to live and work together. I also believe we should encourage meaningful and active participation in society, by shifting the balance of power away from the state and towards the people. That way, common purpose can be formed as people come together and work together in their neighbourhoods. It will also help build stronger pride in local identity, so people feel free to say, ‘Yes, I am a Muslim, I am a Hindu, I am Christian, but I am also a Londonder or a Berliner too’. It’s that identity, that feeling of belonging in our countries, that I believe is the key to achieving true cohesion.

So, let me end with this. This terrorism is completely indiscriminate and has been thrust upon us. It cannot be ignored or contained; we have to confront it with confidence – confront the ideology that drives it by defeating the ideas that warp so many young minds at their root, and confront the issues of identity that sustain it by standing for a much broader and generous vision of citizenship in our countries.

Now, none of this will be easy. We will need stamina, patience and endurance, and it won’t happen at all if we act alone. This ideology crosses not just our continent but all continents, and we are all in this together. At stake are not just lives, it is our way of life. That is why this is a challenge we cannot avoid; it is one we must rise to and overcome.

Thank you.  (*)

Source : NUMBER 10 GOV.UK

British PM David Cameron and UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon condemn Egypt violence

Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron (L) greets U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon as he arrives at number 10 Downing Street, in London February 2, 2011.

London, Feb 2 (KATAKAMI / NUMBER 10 GOV.UK) — Prime Minister David Cameron has welcomed UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon to Downing Street for bilateral talks.

Speaking to journalists outside Number 10, the Prime Minister and the Secretary General condemned the violence taking place in Egypt today and urged restraint.

The PM said it would be “completely and utterly unacceptable” if the Egyptian authorities were found to be behind the violence. He called for the transition to a broader and more democratic government “to be accelerated and happen quickly”.

He said:

“These are despicable scenes that we’re seeing and they should not be repeated.  They underline the need for political reform and, frankly, for that political reform to be accelerated and to happen quickly.

“We need to see a clear road map for that political reform so that people in Egypt can have confidence that their aspirations for a more democratic future with greater rights is met, and that change needs to start happening now and the violence needs to stop.”

Mr Ban said he was “deeply concerned” about the violence and that the danger of instability across the Middle East should not be understimated. He called for all sides in the dispute to engage in an “orderly and peaceful transition”.

Clashes have taken place thoughout the day in Cairo’s Tahrir Square between anti-government protesters and apparent supporters of the incumbent President Mubarak.

Last night President Mubarak vowed to oversee a transition to a broader-based government and not to stand in September’s elections following several days of demonstrations. (*)

David Cameron's 'grave concern' over Egypt violence

FILE : Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak attends the opening session of the Arab League Second Economic Forum, in the Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh January 19, 2011. REUTERS/Asmaa Waguih

Jan 30 (KATAKAMI.COM / BREAKINGNEWS.IE) — British Prime Minister David Cameron spoke to President Hosni Mubarak tonight to express his “grave concern” about violence against anti-government protesters in Egypt.

Mr Cameron urged the embattled leader to “take bold steps to accelerate political reform and build democratic legitimacy” rather than attempt to repress dissent, according to Downing Street.

In a joint statement with French President Nicolas Sarkozy and German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Mr Cameron added: “The Egyptian people have legitimate grievances and a longing for a just and better future.

“We urge President Mubarak to embark on a process of transformation which should be reflected in a broad-based government and in free and fair elections.”

Mr Cameron made his intervention in a telephone call this evening, as tens of thousands of protesters were still on the streets demanding reforms and an end to Mr Mubarak’s three-decade rule.

More than 50 people are said to have died during five days of clashes with police, and thousands more have been injured.

Mr Mubarak tried to ease the crisis yesterday by sacking his cabinet and appointing a moderate new deputy.

But the UK and US – previously strong allies of the regime – have failed to give their backing.

America has suggested it could withdraw Egypt’s multibillion-dollar aid package if civil liberties are not respected.

A Downing Street spokeswoman said: “The Prime Minister has this evening spoken to President Mubarak and expressed his grave concern about the ongoing events, particularly violence on the streets.

“He emphasised that violent repression of peaceful protest was wrong and counter-productive.

“The Prime Minister urged the President to take bold steps to accelerate political reform and build democratic legitimacy, which should be reflected by an inclusive government with the credibility to carry this agenda forward.”

The joint statement from Mr Cameron, Mr Sarkozy and Mrs Merkel voiced “deep concern” about the events.

“We recognise the moderating role President Mubarak has played over many years in the Middle East. We now urge him to show the same moderation in addressing the current situation in Egypt,” it said.

“We call on President Mubarak to avoid at all costs the use of violence against unarmed civilians, and on the demonstrators to exercise their rights peacefully.

“It is essential that the further political, economic and social reforms President Mubarak has promised are implemented fully and quickly and meet the aspirations of the Egyptian people.

“There must be full respect for human rights and democratic freedoms, including freedom of expression and communication, including use of telephones and the internet, and the right of peaceful assembly.”   (*)

British Prime Minister David Cameron calls for Egypt reform

FILE : British Prime Minister David Cameron

Jan 30 (KATAKAMI.COM / NUMBER 10.GOV.UK) — David Cameron has voiced his support for “reform and progress” in Egypt and expressed his hope that the violence of recent days will subside.

Speaking to US broadcaster CNN, the Prime Minister said that real democracy was about more than the holding of elections and required “building blocks” to be put in place to create a country that is “democratic, strong, accountable”.

The Prime Minister said:

“I think what we need is reform in Egypt. I mean we support reform and progress in the greater strengthening of their democracy and civil rights and the rule of law. Clearly there are grievances that people have and they need to be met and matched.

“I don’t think it’s in anyone’s interest that people are being killed on the streets of Egypt as we speak at the moment and so I hope the violence will cease. But clearly, when you have people who have grievances and problems that want them responded to, it’s in all our interests that these countries have stronger rule of law, stronger rights, stronger democracy.”

Yesterday Foreign Secretary William Hague called upon the Egyptian government to “respond positively to legitimate demands for reform” and to respect the rights of people to free assembly and freedom of expression.  (*)

Joint UK-France-Germany statement on Egypt

Jan 30 (KATAKAMI.COM / NUMBER 10.GOV.UK) — Prime Minister David Cameron has issued a joint statement with President Sarkozy of France and Chancellor Merkel of Germany on the situation in Egypt.

In the statement the three leaders call for Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak to display moderation and avoid the use of violence against protesters. They also ask that respect be shown for human rights and democratic freedoms and call for the holding of free and fair elections.

The Prime Minister also spoke in person to President Mubarak on Saturday, urging him to accelerate political reform and build democratic legitimacy.

A joint statement by Prime Minister David Cameron, President Nicolas Sarkozy and Chancellor Angela Merkel on the situation in Egypt.

Read the statement :

“We are deeply concerned about the events that we are witnessing in Egypt. We recognise the moderating role President Mubarak has played over many years in the Middle East. We now urge him to show the same moderation in addressing the current situation in Egypt.

“We call on President Mubarak to avoid at all costs the use of violence against unarmed civilians, and on the demonstrators to exercise their rights peacefully.

“It is essential that the further political, economic and social reforms President Mubarak has promised are implemented fully and quickly and meet the aspirations of the Egyptian people.

“There must be full respect for human rights and democratic freedoms, including freedom of expression and communication, including use of telephones and the internet, and the right of peaceful assembly.

“The Egyptian people have legitimate grievances and a longing for a just and better future. We urge President Mubarak to embark on a process of transformation which should be reflected in a broad-based government and in free and fair elections.”  (*)

Britain, France, Germany urge Mubarak to avoid violence

German Chancellor Angela Merkel, French President Nicolas Sarkozy and British Prime Minister David Cameron talk prior to participation in a NATO Russia Council meeting at a NATO summit in Lisbon on Saturday Nov. 20, 2010. NATO planned Saturday to deliver a historic invitation for Russia to join a missile shield protecting Europe against Iranian attack, a milestone for an alliance that was built to defend against Soviet forces.(AP Photo/Armando Franca)

Jan 30 (KATAKAMI.COM / EXPATICA.COM) — British Prime Minister David Cameron, French President Nicolas Sarkozy and German Chancellor Angela Merkel urged Egypt’s Hosni Mubarak to avoid violence “at all costs” in a joint statement Saturday.

The three leaders called on Egypt’s embattled president to commit to change in response to what they said were the “legitimate grievances” of his people.

“We are deeply concerned about the events that we are witnessing in Egypt,” said the statement.

“We recognise the moderating role President Mubarak has played over many years in the Middle East. We now urge him to show the same moderation in addressing the current situation in Egypt,” it continued.

“We call on President Mubarak to avoid at all costs the use of violence against unarmed civilians, and on the demonstrators to exercise their rights peacefully.”  (*)

Prime Minister David Cameron welcomes Dutch PM Mark Rutte

Jan 24 (KATAKAMI.COM / NUMBER 10 GOV.UK) — The Prime Minister has welcomed Dutch PM Mark Rutte to Downing Street for bilateral talks.

The two leaders discussed a range of issues including the European budget and Afghanistan.

The Prime Minister noted that Holland was the second largest inward investor into the UK and that both nations were in favour of expanding free trade agreements through the Doha round of negotiations.

Prime Minister Rutte spoke of the relationship between the UK and the Netherlands as being traditionally “very strong and very solid”.  (*)

Photostream : Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron meets Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte

Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron (L) greet his Dutch counterpart Mark Rutte outside 10 Downing Street in London January 24, 2011. REUTERS/Andrew Winning

Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron (L) shakes hands with his Dutch counterpart Mark Rutte after their meeting at 10 Downing Street, London January 24, 2011. REUTERS/Andrew Winning

Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte (L) is pictured during a meeting with British prime Minister David Cameron at 10 Downing St, in London on January 24, 2011. (Photo by CARL DE SOUZA/AFP/Getty Images)

Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron (R) shakes hands with Holland's Prime Minister Mark Rutte at 10 Downing Street, in London January 24, 2011. REUTERS/Carl de Souza/Pool

Photostream : British Prime Minister David Cameron meets French Prime Minister Francois Fillon

Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron (L) greets his French counterpart Francois Fillon as he arrives at number 10 Downing Street in London January 13, 2011. REUTERS/Toby Melville

Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron (L) greets his French counterpart Francois Fillon on the steps of number 10 Downing Street in London January 13, 2011. REUTERS/Toby Melville

Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron (R) speaks with his French counterpart Francois Fillon at 10 Downing Street in London January 13, 2011. Britain will not be drawn into new mechanisms to help protect the euro, Prime Minister David Cameron said on Thursday. REUTERS/Peter Macdiarmid/Pool

French Prime Minister Francois Fillon (L) and British Prime Minister David Cameron attend a joint press conference at 10 Downing Street in central London, on January 13, 2011. Britain refuses to join any new funding mechanisms to prop up the eurozone, Prime Minister David Cameron said Thursday as his French counterpart Francois Fillon visited the country. "A strong and successful eurozone is in Britain's interest, we want the countries of the eurozone to sort out the difficulties and the problems that they have," he told a joint press conference with Fillon at Downing Street. (Photo by LEON NEAL/AFP/Getty Images)

PM David Cameron welcomes French Prime Minister to Number 10

Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron (R) attends a news conference with his French counterpart Francois Fillon at 10 Downing Street in London January 13, 2011. Britain will not be drawn into new mechanisms to help protect the euro, Prime Minister David Cameron said on Thursday. REUTERS/Peter Macdiarmid/Pool

London, Jan 13 (KATAKAMI.COM / NUMBER10.GOV.UK) — Prime Minister David Cameron has welcomed French Prime Minister Francois Fillon to Number 10.

The PM and his French counterpart held bilateral talks before a joint press conference.

Discussions focused on economic growth, the EU budget and the eurozone.

During the press conference, Mr Cameron said that Britain would be a “helpful partner” in assisting the eurozone but ruled out joining the euro.

The PM said:

“A strong and successful eurozone is in Britain’s interests, we want the countries of the eurozone to sort out the difficulties they have and we won’t stand in the way as we do that…Indeed, we will be a helpful partner in making sure that happens.

“But let me again be clear – that does not mean that Britain should be drawn into new mechanisms or new procedures or have to give up new powers.”

Mr Cameron said he accepted that members of the single currency needed to co-ordinate their fiscal policies.

“We understand that if you are in a single currency you do need to take steps to better co-ordinate and harmonise some of the things you do together.

“Indeed that was one of the reasons I didn’t want to join the euro in the first place, because I didn’t want that to happen.”

Earlier today, Mr Cameron held a meeting with European Council President Herman van Rompuy where talks also focused on the European economy. (*)

British PM David Cameron welcomes Chinese Vice-Premier to Number 10

China's Vice Premier Li Keqiang (2nd, R) attends a round table discussion with Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron (L) at Downing Street on January 10, 2011 in London. Mr Li, who is widely tipped to become Chinese Premier next year, has already visited Germany and France during his European visit to strengthen business links. Mr Li and a delegation of 150 business and political representatives are also due to hold talks with the Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne and Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg later today. (Photo by Kirsty Wigglesworth - WPA Pool/Getty Images)

Please also visit : KATAKAMI.COM

 

 

London, Jan 10 (KATAKAMI / NUMBER10.GOV.UK) — Prime Minister David Cameron has welcomed Chinese Vice-Premier Li Keqiang to Number 10 as part of a four-day visit to the UK.

The PM said the Vice-Premier’s visit would “build on the momentum” from his trip to Beijing last year and offered a real opportunity for Britain in terms of trade, jobs and economic growth.

Earlier today, Deputy PM Nick Cleggheld bilateral talks with Vice-Premier Li and attended a signing ceremony at Lancaster House where the two countries signed agreements with an estimated value of £2.6 billion.

Mr Clegg said that the agreements signed by British and Chinese companies would safeguard 700 jobs in the UK, with the potential to create many more.

Other agreements included cooperation in the protection of and research into Giant Pandas between the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland (RZSS) and the China Wildlife Conservation Association (CWCA) which will see the loan of a pair of giant pandas to Edinburgh Zoo. (*)

 

Photostream : Chinese Vice Premier Li Keqiang meets British Leaders

China's Vice Premier Li Keqiang (2nd, R) attends a round table discussion with Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron (L) at Downing Street on January 10, 2011 in London. Mr Li, who is widely tipped to become Chinese Premier next year, has already visited Germany and France during his European visit to strengthen business links. Mr Li and a delegation of 150 business and political representatives are also due to hold talks with the Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne and Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg later today. (Photo by Kirsty Wigglesworth - WPA Pool/Getty Images)

Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron (L) attends a round table discussion with China's Vice Premier Li Keqiang (not pictured) at Downing Street on January 10, 2011 in London. Mr Li, who is widely tipped to become Chinese Premier next year, has already visited Germany and France during his European visit to strengthen business links. Mr Li and a delegation of 150 business and political representatives are also due to hold talks with the Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne and Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg later today. (Photo by Kirsty Wigglesworth - WPA Pool/Getty Images)

China's Vice Premier Li Keqiang (R) attends a round table discussion with Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron (not pictured) at Downing Street on January 10, 2011 in London. Mr Li, who is widely tipped to become Chinese Premier next year, has already visited Germany and France during his European visit to strengthen business links. Mr Li and a delegation of 150 business and political representatives are also due to hold talks with the Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne and Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg later today. (Photo by Kirsty Wigglesworth - WPA Pool/Getty Images)

Chinese Vice Premier Li Keqiang leaves following a meeting with British Prime Minister David Cameron (not pictured) in 10 Downing Street in central London, on January 10, 2011. Britain and China signed trade deals worth 2.6 billion pounds (four billion dollars, 3.1 billion euros) on Monday and announced Beijing will loan a pair of pandas to a zoo in Scotland for 10 years. The deals were signed during talks in London between Chinese Vice Premier Li Keqiang and British Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg. AFP PHOTO/LEON NEAL (Photo credit should read LEON NEAL/AFP/Getty Images)

China's Vice Premier Li Keqiang (L) walks with Britain's Deputy Prime Minister, Nick Clegg (R), during a visit to Lancaster House on January 10, 2011 in London. Mr Li, who is widely tipped to become Chinese Premier next year, has already visited Germany and France during his European visit to strengthen business links. Mr Li and a delegation of 150 business and political representatives are also due to hold talks with the Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne and Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg later today. (Photo by Paul Hackett - WPA Pool/Getty Images)

China's Vice Premier Li Keqiang (L) shakes hands with Britain's Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg at Lancaster House in London January 10, 2011. REUTERS/Paul Hackett

Britain's Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg (standing 7th, L) speaks with China's Vice Premier Li Keqiang during a trade signing ceremony at Lancaster House on January 10, 2011 in London, Enlgand. Mr Li, who is widely tipped to become Chinese Premier next year, has already visited Germany and France during his European visit to strengthen business links. Mr Li and a delegation of 150 business and political representatives are also due to hold talks with the Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne and Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg later today. (Photo by Paul Hackett - WPA Pool/Getty Images)

Chinese Vice Premier Li Keqiang (L) shakes hands with Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne before a meeting at Mansion House in central London, on January 10, 2011. Britain and China signed trade deals worth 2.6 billion pounds (four billion dollars, 3.1 billion euros) Monday and announced Beijing will loan a pair of giant pandas to Edinburgh Zoo for 10 years. The agreements were inked during talks in London between Chinese Vice Premier Li Keqiang and British Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg. AFP PHOTO/LEON NEAL/POOL (Photo credit should read LEON NEAL/AFP/Getty Images)

David Cameron to invest in 'industries of the future'

Richard Mawdsley (left) of Peel Holdings and Prime Minister David Cameron tour the £4.5 billion Wirral Waters development on Merseyside

David Cameron has promised to boost investment in the ”industries of the future” such as aerospace, pharmaceuticals and green energy while at the same time encouraging growth beyond the South East to balance the economy.
January 06, 2011 (KATAKAMI / TELEGRAPH.CO.UK) — Speaking to business leaders in Manchester, the Prime Minister said the Government is doing everything it can to drive growth in the UK economy.

He said the Coalition’s ”tough fiscal action” to cut the budget deficit did not mean the Government could not have a strategy to promote growth.

The Government wanted to reform planning laws to make it easier for entrepreneurs to expand and ”lay out the red carpet” for start-up businesses, he said.

Mr Cameron added that it was necessary to tax spending with the VAT increase as part of a plan to share the burden with public sector cuts.

He said: ”Make no mistake – this Government is doing everything we possibly can to drive growth and make the next decade the most dynamic and entrepreneurial in our history.”

Mr Cameron insisted the Government “was getting behind business” by cutting corporation tax and ensuring regulation was limited.

He said: “The international evidence is clear: with tax rises taking a quarter of the strain and spending cuts three-quarters, we are striking the balance that is fair and good for growth. None of this is easy.

“But be in no doubt: balancing the books over this Parliament is absolutely essential to restoring confidence in our economy – and that is why we are sticking to this path.

“The second thing you need is a strategy for growth that goes beyond just sorting out the mess of the public finances – and that’s exactly what this Government has.

“In the end it’s not us in Whitehall who will create growth, but you in your offices, your shops and your factories. But you need some very basic things from us to help create wealth and jobs.”

Mr Cameron said the Government also wanted to see the country’s tourism industry expand as well as attract businesses to develop the green energy technology such as wind turbines and solar panels.

He added: “Getting behind tourism, green energy, pharmaceuticals, advanced manufacturing, aerospace, the industries of the future – all this is crucial.

“But it would be a big mistake if we stopped at those big ticket industries. Because if you look at where growth has come from in recent years, you see that it’s the small, innovative companies that hold a lot of the potential.

“Over and over again studies show that around one in 20 companies – the small, high-growth firms – are responsible for half of new job creation.

“So far from ignoring the start-ups and the small players, we’re laying out the red carpet for them.”

He said the Royal Wedding and Olympics provided platforms for economic growth.

Prime Minister David Cameron’s speech on economic growth

British Prime Minister David Cameron

 

Prime Minister David Cameron has delivered a speech in Manchester on 6 January 2011 on economic growth.

Read the speech :

January 06, 2011 (KATAKAMI / NUMBER10.GOV.UK) — It’s a new year – and this coalition has one over-riding resolution to help drive growth and create jobs right across our country.

Today I want to argue that there are three essential parts to our plan.

One: you’ve got to have proposals for restoring health to our public finances.

Two: you’ve got to have a strategy for growth.

And three: you’ve got to make sure that growth is balanced and spread more fairly across our country.

Let me take each of those in turn.

First, restoring health to our public finances.

Let us be clear.

If this coalition didn’t have a credible plan to cut the deficit and bring stability to our public finances, we wouldn’t be here today in Manchester talking about growth.

We’d be talking about rising bond yields and rocketing interest costs. The difficulties of servicing our debts. The danger of our credit rating being downgraded. Falling confidence in our economy.

We wouldn’t be looking at the danger zone that other European countries have fallen into; we’d be in that danger zone ourselves.

Still there are those who argue that tough fiscal action and a plan for growth are somehow alternative strategies.

I say that is incredibly misguided and it denies the evidence.

Because if you don’t have a plan to balance the books, you have no confidence.

And if you have no confidence, you have no growth.

It’s as simple as that.

It’s because we’ve taken tough action that Britain is out of the danger zone today and able to grow.

At the end of last year, the European Commission forecast that Britain would grow faster over the next two years than Germany, France, Japan and the United States.

That’s why despite all the calls to turn back, to delay, to take an easier option – we will stick to this course.

Of course government has got to pay down its debts in a way that helps growth rather than hinders it.

That’s why we’re making cuts to welfare but protecting science.

That’s why under real pressure to cut capital expenditure plans we’re giving the green light to massive infrastructure projects, so that in the coming years there’ll be more electrified rail – including here in the North West.

The Mersey Gateway is going ahead.

The Crossrail tracks are going down.

The superfast broadband cables are going to be laid.

And high speed rail is going to criss-cross the country.

And our pro-growth agenda is why – as difficult a decision as it was – we have raised VAT instead of national insurance.

Yes, a tax on what people spend is a tough thing to do and clearly it will have an impact, but not nearly as big an impact as a tax on jobs.

And to those who say we shouldn’t raise any taxes at all, I would argue that you have to strike a balance.

The international evidence is clear: with tax rises taking a quarter of the strain and spending cuts three quarters, we are striking the balance that is fair and good for growth.

None of this is easy.

But be in no doubt: balancing the books over this Parliament is absolutely essential to restoring confidence in our economy – and that is why we are sticking to this path.

The second thing you need is a strategy for growth that goes beyond just sorting out the mess of the public finances – and that’s exactly what this government has.

In the end it’s not us in Whitehall who will create growth, but you in your offices, your shops and your factories.

But you need some very basic things from us to help create wealth and jobs.

Yes, economic stability and low interest rates.

Yes, lower taxes and less red tape – which is why we’re cutting corporation tax to the lowest rate in the G7 and we’ve brought in a new one-in, one-out rule for regulation.

But government’s support for business cannot end there.

That’s laissez faire – and it is not what this coalition is about.

We’re about actively getting behind business.

What does that mean?

It means being clear about which are the high-growth industries and working strategically to strengthen them.

The pharmaceutical industry is already a big strength in our economic armoury – but we can’t be complacent about that.

So we’re introducing a Patent Box – offering a ten per cent tax rate on patent income – to encourage companies not just to experiment and innovate here but to invest here and employ people here to exploit those innovations.

And I have personally been on the phone to the heads of some of the biggest pharmaceutical companies, like Amgen and Pfizer, to encourage them to do just that.

The global green energy market – everything from wind turbines to home insulation to solar panels – is going to be worth trillions of pounds in the years to come.

I’m determined that the UK should have a big piece of that pie – and just look at what we’ve already done.

Supporting wave and tidal technologies.

Bringing in legislation for a Green Deal to get millions of homes insulated and create thousands of new jobs at the same time.

Putting £60 million into updating our ports so that wind turbines can be built here and manufacturers can be based here.

Tourism is another industry we’re getting behind.

The rewards for growth here are huge.

Just consider.

For every half a per cent increase in our share of the world tourism market we can add £2.7 billion pounds to our economy, and more than 50,000 jobs.

With a Royal Wedding, an Olympic games and a Diamond Jubilee around the corner, now is the time to go for it and increase that share.

Just yesterday I met with businesses who are helping to create a £100 million marketing campaign to roll out the welcome mat and say to the world – ‘come on over to Britain’.

Getting behind tourism, green energy, pharmaceuticals, advanced manufacturing, aerospace, the industries of the future – all this is crucial.

But it would be a big mistake if we stopped at those big ticket industries.

Because if you look at where growth has come from in recent years, you see that it’s the small, innovative companies that hold a lot of the potential.

Over and over again studies show that around one in twenty companies – the small, high-growth firms – are responsible for half of new job creation.

So far from ignoring the start-ups and the small players, we’re laying out the red carpet for them.

Creating a new Entrepreneur Visa for anyone with a great idea who wants to set up a business here.

Nurturing small clusters of innovative companies and web start-ups, as we are in a new Tech City – our own Silicon Valley – in East London.

And, as I announced yesterday, expanding the New Enterprise Allowance so that people who are unemployed can get the tools and capital they need to start their own business.

Our Growth Review – and the Chancellor’s budget – will look systematically at all those things that we need to help start ups and small business expansion.

From venture capital to bank lending.

From opening up government procurement to help firms expand, to cutting back the bureaucracy that can get in the way of their growth.

Being a pro-growth government means something else, too.

It means making sure the whole of the Whitehall machine – not just the Treasury and the Business Department – is geared up to boost enterprise.

That’s what our Growth Review is all about – making sure this is a mission that cuts right across government.

So I’m asking the Department for Local Government to reform planning laws so that it’s much easier to get wealth-creating projects off the ground.

I’m encouraging the Department for Energy and Climate Change to forge ahead with the world’s first carbon capture and storage demonstration plants and new nuclear power stations.

I’m working with the Foreign Office to link up our country to some of the fastest-growing parts of the world and personally leading massive trade missions to high growth countries.

We’re expanding trade promotion, strengthening old relationships and forging new ones.

Make no mistake – this government is doing everything we possibly can to drive growth and make the next decade the most dynamic and entrepreneurial in our history.

The third part of the plan – and it is crucial – is to make sure that growth is balanced right across our country.

For a long time we saw dangerous imbalances in our economy – tilted too far towards unsustainable spending and borrowing and away from private sector investment and exports.

But perhaps the most marked imbalance – the one felt most acutely by millions of people – was the imbalance between different parts of our country.

Over the past decade around half of economic growth was concentrated in London and surrounding regions.

If each of the regions had grown at the same rate as the country as a whole, the UK would be £38 billion better off.

Now that doesn’t mean looking at our economy as some kind of see-saw – pull one sector or one part of the country down on one side and the rest of our economy automatically rises up on the other.

Yes, the banks need to recognise their responsibility to our economy as a whole by lending properly to good businesses again.

But in the end you can’t sustainably rebalance our economy by making banking weaker or the City of London smaller.

You do it by making other regions and industries stronger.

So how do we do that?

Do you sit in Whitehall looking at a map of Britain, deciding where to plonk some big bureaucracies, despatching officials to pick winners, fund pet projects and roll out grand top-down initiatives?

Recent history tells us no – you can’t impose regional growth from above.

You’ve got to give local people real power to drive it.

In the next few years people all over our country – North, South, East, West – are going to see real change in the way local economies work.

Powerful mayors in our biggest cities – mayors with clout and passion to make change happen.

A new network of Technology and Innovation Centres, bringing together the best minds from our universities and the sharpest brains in business to get good ideas into the market.

New Local Enterprise Partnerships – coalitions of business, councils and communities like the one I saw in the Wirral this morning, where already leaders like Terry Leahy are working to get big projects off the ground.

This is a step change in the way regional growth is driven.

And part of that step change is why we’re here today – the Regional Growth Fund.

We’re saying to people – if you’ve got an idea to bring investment and wealth to your area, whether it’s a local wasteland that needs decontaminating before it can be built on or a run-down dockside that could be transformed into a retail area with a bit of start-up capital.

£1.4 billion is there waiting in the Regional Growth Fund to help make those good ideas happen.

So this is what you’ll get from us.

A plan that brings sense and stability to our public finances.

A plan that actively drives growth and gets behind enterprise.

A plan that helps to rebalance our economy, empowering local communities to take charge and drive wealth creation.

There are no short-cuts to economic recovery, and I don’t promise that the road ahead will be an easy one.

But if the people of this country pull together, if central government, local government, business and communities work together, then I am confident that we can have strong growth, we can build a more prosperous and more fair economy.

And we can have a brighter future for everyone in this country to look forward to.  (*)

Previous Older Entries

Categories

%d bloggers like this: