New digital export strategy to boost trade in wake of Brexit - Thorne Widgery

The Government’s new digital export strategy could boost international trade by billions of pounds every year, it has been suggested.

The report – published by the Board of Trade – outlines new measures and support that will help traders in the wake of Brexit.

Here’s everything you need to know.

How big is the UK’s digital trade sector?

According to the latest statistics, the UK exported over £200 billion worth of digitally delivered services in 2019. This includes everything from purchasing items online to streaming music.

While the 2020 figures have yet to be released, experts believe that the digital economy has exploded throughout the Coronavirus pandemic.

But the Government believes more can be done to help UK businesses capitalise on the “huge opportunities” digital trade presents.

How will the Government support digital businesses?

The report sets out a number of measures designed to break down barriers and help businesses export digital products and services around the world. This includes:

New trade deals –The Government is negotiating comprehensive digital provisions like those agreed with Japan, Australia, and New Zealand, and digital-focused agreements like the Singapore Digital Economy Agreement.

Export Academy – The Department of Trade’s Export Academy was recently expanded to help even more traders start or grow their international sales. You can find more on the Export Academy here.

Improving market access – The new strategy will focus on five primary goals. These are:

– Open digital markets;

– Free and trusted data flows;

– Consumer and business safeguards;

– Digital trading systems; and

– Partnerships to shape global rules, norms, and standards.

Export Support Service – Firms can use the Export Support Service to ask questions about international trading, such as exporting to new markets, what paperwork you will need to sell digital goods overseas, and rules for a specific country.

Sign up to the Trader Support Service – If you export digital goods to Northern Ireland, the Trader Support Service will guide you through any changes due to the implementation of the Northern Ireland Protocol.

Live webinars and videos – HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) has published a range of helpful videos and webinars to support businesses in the wake of Brexit.

“Digital trade has taken centre stage in the UK Government’s trade strategy after Brexit”

The strategy has been widely welcomed by experts across the industry, such as techUK CEO, Julian David.

“Digital trade has taken centre stage in the UK Government’s trade strategy after Brexit. techUK is a longstanding advocate for, and supporter of, a UK strategy that combines advanced digital trade provisions in bilateral trade agreements with international regulatory cooperation,” he said.

“Today’s Board of Trade report outlines the right priorities for the UK to continue to advance its leadership, both in new bilateral agreements, like the Digital Economy Agreement with Singapore, and in multilateral forums, at the G7 and the WTO. We support the vision outlined in this report that allows the world-leading UK tech sector to scale up and offer their services to customers across the world and we will continue to work closely with the government to deliver on those promises.”

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