You are here: Home » PTI Stories » International » News
Business Standard

CEOs of British companies backs Cameron's foreign aid pledge

Press Trust of India  |  London 

Chief executives of 27 biggest companies in the UK, including BP and Vodafone, today joined the boss of English football's Premier League in appealing to Prime Minister David Cameron to keep his commitment to devote 0.7 per cent of national income on international aid.

With Britain staring at a fresh bout of recession, Cameron is under pressure from some members of his own Conservative party to reduce the coalition government's international aid commitment, but business leaders insisted that sticking to the funding target would not only be a "smart investment" but also the "right thing to do".

The request comes as International Development Secretary Justine Greening prepares to outline plans to boost British business involvement in developing countries.

In an open letter to Cameron, published by the Financial Times, 27 bosses wrote "as chief executives of leading British companies we believe that this is not only the right thing to do, but that it is a smart investment. It is both humanitarian and in the interests of the country for the Prime Minister to do this and the case for continuing, well-targeted aid is beyond doubt."

"Aid has contributed to improving education, health, sanitation and other public services in many of the world's poorest countries. This investment in human capital is fundamental for a functioning economy," the letter said.

In a speech tomorrow, Greening is expected to state the Government's plan to work with developing nations to create stronger tax systems and more investment-friendly business environments.

Ahead of this month's budget, FTSE 100 companies like BP and GlaxoSmithKline and retailers, including Morrisons, Dixons and IKEA, joined the Premier League in putting their names to an open letter, insisting it is in Britain's interest to meet its aid pledge.

Charity leaders welcomed the support from business leaders. Justin Forsyth, Save the Children's chief executive, said, "We are delighted that some of Britain's best known companies have recognised the remarkable progress of British aid and what it is helping to achieve for the world's poorest people."

"Giving children the opportunity to live, to learn and to thrive will be of enormous benefit to the UK in the long term. Aid is working and Britain deserves enormous credit for delivering on its promise to the poorest, hungriest, and most vulnerable people in the world," he added.

Dear Reader,

Business Standard has always strived hard to provide up-to-date information and commentary on developments that are of interest to you and have wider political and economic implications for the country and the world. Your encouragement and constant feedback on how to improve our offering have only made our resolve and commitment to these ideals stronger. Even during these difficult times arising out of Covid-19, we continue to remain committed to keeping you informed and updated with credible news, authoritative views and incisive commentary on topical issues of relevance.
We, however, have a request.

As we battle the economic impact of the pandemic, we need your support even more, so that we can continue to offer you more quality content. Our subscription model has seen an encouraging response from many of you, who have subscribed to our online content. More subscription to our online content can only help us achieve the goals of offering you even better and more relevant content. We believe in free, fair and credible journalism. Your support through more subscriptions can help us practise the journalism to which we are committed.

Support quality journalism and subscribe to Business Standard.

Digital Editor

First Published: Mon, March 11 2013. 19:30 IST