The launch of the UK-APAC Tech Forum
This year at London Tech Week, techUK in partnership with the Digital Trade Network held the kick-off event titled UK-APAC Digital Trade to mark the launch of techUK’s new UK – APAC Tech forum, which aims to be one of the platforms that policymakers and businesses can leverage to discuss opportunities and mitigate problems associated with digital transformation in both the UK and across Asia. Focused on Australia, New Zealand, South Korea and the ASEAN countries, the forum provides engagement opportunities with key stakeholders in government and business to drive new digital economy partnerships, address barriers to digital market access and expand commercial networks in the region.
Natalie Black, Her Majesty's Trade Commissioner for Asia Pacific, Department for International Trade, delivered opening remarks and formally launched the UK-APAC Tech Forum. As she highlighted, with 65% of the world's middle class set to be in the Asia Pacific by 2030, a quarter of top R&D spending companies based in APAC, and the Southeast Asian economy to reach $300 billion by 2025, the APAC region offers growing commercial opportunities for UK tech businesses. The UK selected Asia Pacific as the launch site of our now fully operational £8m Digital Trade Network. The joint DCMS/DIT initiative seeks to bolster collaboration in the region, by supporting UK businesses to internationalise in Asia, by attracting capital and talent to the UK and by helping shape digital trade and technology policy in the region and throughout the world. In the last six months alone the Digital Trade Network supported over 120 UK tech scale ups including Seed Labs, Immersive Labs and Circulor.
Asia Pacific, just like the UK, is embracing this digital revolution. In 2020, the region saw 40 million new internet users in South-east Asia alone, bringing the total number to 400 million. APAC is also a hot-bed of digital technology innovation, with South Korea and Singapore ranking first and second in the Bloomberg Innovation Index in 2021. Richard Graham ,MP and Trade Envoy to the ASEAN Economic Community, Indonesia, Philippines and Malaysia, pointed out how important is to have these conversations hand-in-hand with our partners in Asia-Pacific to tackle the challenges brought by digital technology and to capture the opportunities. Since the UK and APAC regions are united by a passion for innovation, there is a real opportunity for us to work together towards greater shared prosperity.
This new tech forum will support techUK members:
- in shaping the development of digital chapters in FTAs and driving new UK digital economy agreements/partnerships in the region.
- in engaging with governments to address barriers to digital market access.
- in raising understanding of export opportunities in the region.
- in growing commercial in-market networks and building relevant connections with potential customers, partners and suppliers.
- in exploring emerging tech opportunities for growth and jointly develop practical steps that industry can take to make it easier for business to trade and collaborate across tech corridors.
- in amplifying the strength of the UK digital tech sector to drive APAC capital investment in the UK.
If you would like to learn more bout how to get involved, please contact [email protected]
Jana is techUK’s Policy Manager for International Trade.
She supports techUK members in navigating international markets, including market access and regulatory challenges, and assists the tech sector in taking full advantage of UK’s trade deals. Her responsibilities also include driving the UK digital trade policy agenda. Jana is committed to promoting UK digital trade by engaging businesses, UK government and international partners.
Jana has several years of experience in trade promotion, public policy, and providing strategic advice on international expansion strategy to companies across a variety of sectors. Prior to techUK, she worked for the Department for International Trade, helping UK SMEs expand abroad.
She holds a MA in International Political Economy from King’s College London.