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Last Updated: Wednesday, 6 September 2006, 00:12 GMT 01:12 UK
Cameron criticises globalisation
David Cameron
David Cameron visited a slum during the Mumbai trip
People should blame globalisation rather than immigration for problems like low wages, David Cameron has said.

In a speech in India, Mr Cameron said the benefits of globalisation cannot simply be celebrated.

There are depressed towns in the UK "where the winds of globalisation feel like a chilling blast, not an invigorating breeze", he said.

A few hours later Burberry said it was laying off 300 workers in the Rhondda valley and moving production abroad.

The factory at Treorchy makes polo shirts and the company said production would be moved abroad - probably Asia or South America - where costs are lower.

Mr Cameron said it was wrong to blame immigrants for driving down wages, when it is actually the result of globalisation.

"So we can't just celebrate the benefits of globalisation," he said. "We must also be honest about its costs, because the alternative is that people project their fears and anxieties on to other ethnic groups or other countries."

The Conservative leader was addressing business leaders in Mumbai, formerly known as Bombay, on the second day of his trip to India.

'Wrong direction'

The West was "dangerously complacent" about the economic threat from a furiously growing India and China, he said.

A bilateral free trade agreement between the EU and India could be the answer if no progress is made in the Doha round of trade talks.

Mr Cameron compared the booming Indian economy with Britain where competitiveness has been moving "in the wrong direction" since Labour came to power. He said India should be on the United Nations Security Council, and also in the G8.

Globalisation should not allow the homogenisation of culture and cities across the world , Mr Cameron said.

"I don't want a world that has become a kind of bland universal mush where our distinctive cultures and histories and identities have are gone. I want India to be India and Britain to be Britain."

Minibus collision

Speaking to the Press Association before giving his speech, Mr Cameron called for India to be given a seat on the UN Security Council, reflecting its influence and status.

Meanwhile, a woman was seriously injured after she was hit by a minibus, run by the UK high commission, and carrying Conservative aides and journalists.

Journalists in the bus and UK Deputy High Commissioner Vicki Treadell had earlier asked the driver to slow down.

The woman, named Prema Naik, was taken to the KEM Hospital in Mumbai.




SEE ALSO
Cameron hails India-UK trade ties
04 Sep 06 |  UK Politics
Tories pledge new 'green' taxes
31 Aug 06 |  UK Politics

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