Fear of China's and India's growing strengths as outsourcing and development centres permeated the UK government's enterprise conference in London, where top technology executives and government leaders met to discuss strategies for developing more business at home.

"By 2015 up to 5 million American and European jobs could have moved offshore, outsourced to countries like India and China as they strive to become the world's second and third largest economies," Gordon Brown, the UK's Chancellor of the Exchequer, said in his opening keynote address at the Advancing Enterprise Conference.

Brown's sentiments were echoed by local business leaders like Vodafone Group PLC Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Arun Sarin. They stressed the importance of developing international business while keeping core jobs and development money in their home country.

Brown, for his part, announced that the government is currently reviewing a long-term plan for science funding to help make Britain a base for research and development (R&D).

The chancellor also stressed Britain's partnership with the US in driving business growth and jointly stemming China's increasing power.

"Even today China's significance to the global economy is that every year it, on its own, is adding as much output as the whole of the G7 put together," he said. The threat of losing jobs to developing countries that offer the double punch of educated workers and lower costs is particularly strong in the technology sector, Brown said.

The US technology sector is already well aware of this competitive threat, as companies like IBM have already moved thousands of jobs offshore.

The UK government is hoping to further align itself with the US and its European neighbours to keep technology jobs and investment among its traditional trading partners.