Call for Tearing Down of Digital Barriers
London Tech Week to break down "digital barriers" and open up new opportunities for businesses and consumers.
12:37 21 September 2021
London Tech Week gets underway as the UK seeks to tear down digital trade barriers and cement its status as Europe's tech capital.
On Monday, Anne-Marie Trevelyan, the UK's international trade secretary, said that breaking down digital barriers is key to open up new opportunities for businesses and consumers. The comment follows the release of recent figures showing that digital trade transactions in goods and services contribute to £150billion to the economy and employ about 5per cent of the workforce.
Since Britain voted to leave the European Union in 2016, smoothing international commerce in digital products has been built into trade talks. The UK has since agreed on details of digital free trade as part of a pact with Japan in October 2020 and is currently in talks with Singapore on another agreement.
Ms Trevelyan said: "All of us depend on digital trade, yet British businesses face digital barriers in countries who take a protectionist approach," Ms Trevelyan said.
"I want the UK to break down these barriers and open up new, exciting opportunities for businesses and consumers so we can see improved productivity, jobs and growth.
"Our five-point plan is the first step in shaping international digital trade policy for decades to come. Through our network of international agreements, we are breaking new ground, pushing forward innovative ideas and setting a new gold standard for digital trade."