06 Jun 2022

Crafting a Strategy: UK International Digital Policy Cooperation - Event Round-Up

Watch the discussion unfold as our expert panel discuss the newly published strategy.

On the 12th May 2022 techUK partnered with the Department of International Trade to discuss the UK’s development of its own strategy dealing with digital and technological issues in the international arena, following the publication of the techUK report ‘Crafting a Strategy: UK International Digital Policy Cooperation’ .

The panel included:

  • Dr. Thomas Goldsmith, Director, Innovation Policy, Mitacs (Chair)
  • Matthew Peake, Global Director, Public Policy, Onfido
  • Sabina Ciofu, Associate Director – International, techUK
  • Lawrence Kay, Head of Future Digital Trade Policy and Analysis in the Digital Trade Team, DCMS
  • Erik van der Marel, Senior Economist, ECIPE, Associate Professor, Université Libre de Bruxelles

In opening remarks, the keynote speaker Graham Floater, Director of Trade Policy at the Department of International Trade noted “creating the strategy for ongoing UK digital trade is one of the most important areas of policy being tackled today” and established 5 broad objectives:

  1. Digital markets - eliminating customs duties on electronic transactions
  2. Free flow of data and associated data protection
  3. Consumer and business safeguards – cyber security and online consumer protections
  4. Digital trading systems – legalisation of digital contracts
  5. International corporation and digital governance

Antony Walker, Deputy CEO of techUK, then went on to deliver the presentation of the techUK report, highlighting key themes and proposed actions.

Dr Thomas Goldsmith opened the panel discussion by first exploring the different types of value from proposed trade deals and led the conversation as all five panellists delved into their insights from the newly published report to explore how the new UK strategy expands beyond trade deals, enabling international digital policy to deliver commercial, governance, and societal value to the UK.

The panellists dialogue also addressed unpredictability, the need for information sharing, the role of China, the UK-US trade relationship, and the process to impact the EU to build alignment with UK positions and interests.

Lawrence Kay talked about UK’s digital trade policy, breaking new ground in areas such as innovation, regulatory cooperation and cooperation on emerging technologies. He also touched upon the importance of cross-departmental cooperation in ensuring international regulatory cooperation.

Erik van der Marel then put this into a global context, outlining developments in digital trade across a number of big powers, but also smaller innovators.

Sabina Ciofu covered the recent UK-US Trade Dialogues and the broader transatlantic relationship in technology and trade, including the EU-US Trade and Technology Council.

Matt Peake talked about how a UK-founded high growth firm is looking to expand to international markets and how trade policy – or the lack of it – is creating opportunities and challenges for Onfido.

The panellists also discussed broader overarching topics, like the WTO Ministerial Conference happening in June, as well as the impact of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on trade policy.

You can watch the full webinar here: 



Sabina Ciofu

Sabina Ciofu

Associate Director – International, techUK

Sabina Ciofu is Associate Director – International, running the International Policy and Trade Programme at techUK.

Based in Brussels, she leads our EU policy and engagement. She is also our lead on international trade policy, with a focus on digital trade chapter in FTAs, regulatory cooperation as well as broader engagement with the G7, G20, WTO and OECD.

As a transatlanticist at heart, Sabina is a GMF Marshall Memorial fellow and issue-lead on the EU-US Trade and Technology Council, within DigitalEurope.

Previously, she worked as Policy Advisor to a Member of the European Parliament for almost a decade, where she specialised in tech regulation, international trade and EU-US relations.

Sabina loves building communities and bringing people together. She is the founder of the Gentlewomen’s Club and co-organiser of the Young Professionals in Digital Policy. Previously, as a member of the World Economic Forum’s Global Shapers Community, she led several youth civic engagement and gender equality projects.

She sits on the Advisory Board of the University College London European Institute, Café Transatlantique, a network of women in transatlantic technology policy and The Nine, Brussels’ first members-only club designed for women.

Sabina holds an MA in War Studies from King’s College London and a BA in Classics from the University of Cambridge.

[email protected]
+32 473 323 280

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