The new international trade secretary will today outline a five-point plan to make it easier for businesses to digitally sell their products overseas.
Anne-Marie Trevelyan will use her first speech since being appointed to the role to call for a reduction to “digital barriers” from “countries who take a protectionist approach” at London Tech Week.
Trevalyn’s plan will also outline the UK’s goal to enable greater data flow between countries, promote the development of new digital trading systems and establish global co-operation in this area.
Trevalyn is expected today to say: “I want the UK to break down these [digital] barriers and open up new, exciting opportunities for businesses and consumers so we can see improved productivity, jobs and growth.
“Through our network of international agreements, we are breaking new ground, pushing forward innovative ideas and setting a new gold standard for digital trade.”
It comes as the UK government earlier this week said it would repeal the EU’s online GDPR laws and replace them with a “less burdensome” regime.
Victoria Hewson, head of regulatory affairs at the free market Institute for Economic Affairs think tank, said GDPR laws had allowed “governments to erect barriers to their markets” online.
“International services trade depends on data flows; so do goods supply chains,” she said.
“Eliminating some of the costs, frictions and outright bans, in law or in practice, that plague digital trade could be transformational.”
Figures from the Office for National Statistics show the UK’s digital sector contributed £150.6 billion to the UK economy in 2019, while Britain’s level of digital tech service exports are among the highest in the world.