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UK seeks to break down digital trade barriers, says minister By Reuters


© Reuters. FILEPHOTO: Anne-Marie Trevelyan is Britain’s Secretary-of-State for International Trade, and she walks out of Downing Street in London on September 15, 2021. REUTERS/Hannah McKay/File Photo


LONDON (Reuters) – Britain will look to break down digital trade barriers to help its businesses export their services, the country’s newly appointed trade minister Anne-Marie Trevelyan will say on Monday.

The Department for International Trade in Britain published last week a report that sought to forecast trends in global trade up to 2050. It predicted that the demand for digital services would double over the next decade.

Trevelyan, according to extracts of her report, will speak in a virtual speech at London Tech Week. “All of our depend on digital commerce, but British businesses face technological barriers in countries that take a protective approach to digital trade.”

“I hope the UK will remove all these barriers, open up exciting new opportunities for both consumers and businesses, so we can achieve greater productivity, employment, and growth.”

Trade agreements typically remove barriers to goods trade, however, Britain since its departure from the European Union has tried to make digital trade agreements and standardizations in professional services. This is to encourage growth of the service sector.

Trevelyan will deliver her first speech as a new roleholder since last week’s departure to present the department’s strategy to help shape global digital policies. These plans include cooperation in digital trade through free trade agreements.

Trevelyan plans to also outline enhanced consumer and intellectual rights protections, and promote the development and use of digital trading systems.

According to the department, digital industry contributed 15.6 billion pounds to UK economic growth in 2019. It also employed 4.6% national workers. Trevelyan will advocate for cross-border data flows and ensure that data is free and trustworthy.

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