The UK’s Board of Trade launches a new report – Global Britain, Local Jobs

This week, the UK’s Board of Trade has released its first report “Global Britain, Local Jobs”. While not official government policy, this is the first in a series of reports from the group expected this year. It recommends a series of policy fixes to unlock the UK's full exporting potential and propel a trade-led, jobs-led recovery from Covid-19. This includes:

  • Boosting the UK's role as a global hub for services and digital trade
  • Pursuing new trade deals with large and fast-growing economies beyond Europe, particularly in the Indo-Pacific.
  • Greater support to help businesses internationalise, and adopt new export targets
  • Championing the case for free trade to achieve the government’s ‘Global Britain’ vision and help level up the British economy.

The report suggests the UK needs to strengthen trade ties with faster growing nations outside Europe, with 65% of the world's middle classes set to be in the Asia-Pacific by 2030 and nearly 90% of world growth expected to be outside the EU in the next five years. More importantly, it recognizes the role of digital trade in harnessing these opportunities.

The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the rising trend of digital technologies and amplified the opportunities for non-physical trade. The UK has what it takes to ride this technological wave as it is already a world-leader in digital trade. The country is the fifth largest global exporter of digital tech services and ranked third (only behind the US and China) for venture capital investment in tech companies in 2019. Domestically it is a key growth sector – growing over 4 times faster than the overall economy between 2018 and 2019, contributing £150 billion to the UK economy in 2019 and supporting 1.6 million jobs.

It also suggests there is a need to address a risk of regulatory divergence-accelerated by the pace of global change-that could create new trade barriers. The UK is endeavouring to reduce the risk of digital fragmentation through its FTA programme.  techUK welcomed the agreement with Japan where the UK agreed a ban on data localisation, which is saving British businesses from the extra cost of setting up servers in Japan.

The report further recommends that the UK consistently reduces trade barriers through bilateral negotiations by removing market access barriers for the industries of the future by pursuing ambitious data provisions in FTAs and other bilateral agreements, such as a Digital Economy Agreement with Singapore.

Furthermore, the UK should lead the charge for a more modern, fair and green WTO by working with like-minded allies to unlock the growth potential of services, digital and green trade.

 

Jana Psarska

Jana Psarska

Policy Manager | International Trade, techUK

Jana is techUK’s Programme 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.

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Sabina Ciofu

Sabina Ciofu

Head of EU and Trade Policy , techUK

Sabina leads techUK's international policy and engagement. Based in Brussels, she manages our EU policy priorities as well as our international trade agenda.

Sabina leads techUK’s engagement with the European Union institutions, as well as the EU Member States. Outside of the EU, her work is focused on key trade partners, such as the USA and Japan, as well as key international organisations, such as the WTO and the OECD. Previously, she worked as Policy Advisor in the European Parliament for almost a decade, where she specialised in tech regulation, international trade and EU-US relations.

Sabina is the founder of the Gentlewomen’s Club, co-organiser of the Young Professionals in Digital Policy and a member of the World Economic Forum’s Global Shapers Community, where she has led several youth civic engagement and gender equality projects.

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

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