Globalisation is key to recovery – Brown

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GORDON Brown will warn today against giving up on globalisation because of the current worldwide financial crisis.

In a speech in London ahead of a series of meetings with the heads of world financial institutions and Asian economic powers, the Prime Minister will say there must be no retreat into trade protectionism or a "financial mercantilism" that would restrict banking activities such as lending to domestic markets.

And he will call for worldwide co-operation to shore up the fragile global financial system.

The current turmoil should be regarded as "the difficult birth-pangs of a new global order" that will deliver a better future if the international community makes the right adjustments, he will say.

Mr Brown wants the London summit of the G20 group of major economies, which he is chairing in April, to secure international co-operation on financial reform, economic expansion and job creation as a response to the global downturn.

Yesterday, Kenneth Clarke, the Tories' new shadow business secretary, accused Mr Brown and Alistair Darling of "panicking" over the recession. Mr Clarke said Mr Brown and the Chancellor were rushing out announcements designed to shore up the economy and the banking system "without any proper thought".

He said: "The public see these soundbites for what they really are: a smokescreen."