Page last updated at 21:05 GMT, Monday, 14 June 2010 22:05 UK

Emerging economies debate

Britain must tap into the world's "vast new markets" to strengthen its own economy, Foreign Office Minister Jeremy Browne has said.

Speaking ahead of the G20 Summit in Toronto on 26 and 27 June, Mr Browne said although the rise of economies such as China and Brazil was a "challenge" for the UK, it was vital to do business with them.

Opening a Commons debate on 14 June 2010 on emerging economies, he said that, over the last decade, economic growth in China had increased by an annual average of 9.9% - compared to 1.7% for Britain.

China's proportion of world GDP has risen from 2.6% in 1980 to 8.5% last year, he added.

Mr Browne told MPs there had been a "dramatic shift" from "a G8 world to a G20 world".

He argued: "If we are to see Britain's economy growing strongly again - which must happen if we are to tackle the UK's deficit and raise the prosperity of our own citizens - then we must tap into these vast new markets."

Tory backbencher Tobias Ellwood asked why the government was still providing China with millions of pounds of aid.

Mr Browne said that although its economy was growing, it was a huge country and there were "millions of people living in poverty".

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