UK steps up wooing of oil-rich Gulf states

Britain stepped up its attempts to woo oil-rich Gulf states on Wednesday, with Business Secretary Peter Mandelson urging leaders in the region to bring investment here as a delegation of Saudi businessmen toured key British finance centers. Just a week after Prime Minister Gordon Brown drummed up business on a trip to Saudi Arabia, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates, Mandelson's office hosted 24 senior Saudi businessmen, brokering meetings with major British businesses across the country. As economic growth in Europe, the United States and many parts of Asia slows significantly thanks to the global credit squeeze, Britain is making major moves to strengthen financial ties with the correspondingly resilient Middle East.