BUSINESS Secretary Vince Cable says he wants to see more Asian business leaders "exerting influence" at the top levels of business and government.

Speaking at the launch of the National Asian Business Association (NABA) in London today, Mr Cable will tell the audience of business leaders that the growth of British Asian businesses is essential to boost the UK economy and create jobs.

The launch of NABA will be followed by the creation of the Yorkshire Asian Business Association (YABA) next month which will promote and represent Asian entrepreneurs from the region.

The Business Secretary will highlight the emergence of a ‘new generation’ of Asian entrepreneurs and praise the ‘dynamic role’ that British Asian companies have played in the business community.

NABA, which is supported by Microsoft and Santander, brings together the 11 local Asian business associations across the country and serves as the premier unified voice of British Asian businesses in the UK to advance their prospects in the public and private sectors and contribute to economic growth.

Dr Cable said: “I welcome the founding of a new organisation to promote business and provide it with a strong voice. British Asian companies have long played a dynamic role in the business community. Their growth is essential to job creation and national economic recovery, as is the emergence of a new generation of Asian entrepreneurs.

He added: ‘By showcasing the best that Asian business has to offer, I hope - like them - that more Asian men and women will come to exert influence in the upper echelons of business and Government.”

There are around 50,000 British Asian businesses in the UK.

President of the National Asian Business Association, Baroness Prashar of Runneymede CBE said: “Asian businesses are significant wealth creators and crucial to local economic growth. They are an integral part of the UK’s drive to tackle the current recession.

“Regional Asian business associations have made a significant contribution in their local areas to date but have not had a national voice. NABA’s aspiration is to be an effective vehicle to help these businesses realise their full potential, and ensure that the Government and all the other political parties will have meaningful engagement with them when developing policies to assist businesses or organising trade missions abroad.”

Microsoft’s Clare Barclay, director small media businesses added: “Microsoft is proud to be supporting NABA and helping accelerate economic growth, contributing to UK GDP. Microsoft’s ecosystem of 34,000 partners delivers billions annually to the UK economy, and our programmes help people and businesses realise their full potential.  Our Get On programme will help 300,000 young people get back into work or training, and our Anywhere Working initiative has supported 400,000 people to work flexibly and reduce their carbon footprint.

“In the current economic climate, many businesses are leveraging technology as a key enabler to growth. It is our commitment to support NABA and their UK members to learn more about technology and how it can enable their continued business success.”

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