Minister are set to publish a new report which outlines how the UK can use digital services to turbocharge economic growth. Already a world leader in digital services, the UK exported over £200billion worth of digitally delivered services in 2019.
The coronavirus pandemic led to a huge worldwide investment in global digital transformation and the value of digital exports is set to increase in the coming years.
Helping shape digital services on the world stage, the Board of Trade’s report suggests wages across the UK will increase.
Employees in the digital sector earn around 50 percent more than the UK average.
The new report urges ministers to put the UK at the forefront of what officials are calling the “digital revolution”.
It says Britain should look to shape the global rules system on digital services and ensure consumer and business safeguards exist to help the market flourish.
Britain should be at the centre of tackling digital protectionism and discrimination on the global stage to help more UK businesses look to trade outside the UK, it suggests.
Speaking ahead of the report’s official launch, Trade Secretary Anne-Marie Trevelyan said: ”Digital trade presents huge opportunities for our brilliant UK businesses.
“That’s why we’re building a global network of next-generation trade deals that drive productivity and boost high-paying jobs and growth in all parts of the UK.
“By addressing digital protectionism on the global stage and championing a free, open, and competitive digital economy, more UK companies will be able to export their innovative, high-quality services and goods globally.”
The UK has already started negotiations with Singapore on a specific Digital Economy Agreement.
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Britain is the first European country to begin such negotiations with any country in the world.
Digital trade provisions have also been written into agreements with Japan, Australia and New Zealand.
Economist Dr Linda Yueh, who acts as a Board of Trade adviser, said taking a leading role in shaping the international rules for digital trade was vital for ensuring Britons benefits in the future.
She said: “By playing a global role in helping to ensure that digital trade is fair as well as free, the UK can do a lot in this area for its economy and its people to make the most of this fast-growing aspect of the 21st century world economy.”
Lord Mayor of the City of London, Vincent Keaveny, who is also a Board of Trade adviser, added: “The free and trusted flow of data between various jurisdictions is vital for UK financial and professional services.
“Restrictions on data flows and localisation requirements lead to increased operational costs for firms and less choice for consumers.
“The UK should seek to develop the technical and regulatory security mechanisms which can reduce and remove these barriers.
“Free and trusted data flows must be a priority for our digital trade policy.”