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UK commits to boosting growth of tech start-ups abroad

The Government has announced new measures to support the growth of the UK’s tech start-up scene in foreign markets.

It has committed £8m to launch the Digital Trade Network for Asia Pacific: a network support UK tech businesses expanding internationally.

Research from the Government’s Digital Economy Council has shown that start-ups have already attracted over £4bn in investment despite the economic downturn caused by the coronavirus pandemic. The figures show that start-ups based in London alone have banked more since the start of January than Paris, Stockholm, Berlin, and Tel Aviv combined.

The Department for International Trade and the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport has said its new measures will help growing tech businesses in the long term as well as the immediate recovery from the coronavirus pandemic.

They are designed to boost tech exports to fast-growing international markets, including the Asia-Pacific, and to attract investment.

Tech is a key growth area for the UK, contributing £149bn to the economy in 2018, and employing more than 2.9 million people. It could also be a vital sector in aiding the rebuilding of the UK economy following the coronavirus pandemic has necessitated a partial shutdown of the economy.

International trade secretary Liz Truss said: “The measures we have announced today will help businesses take advantage of opportunities in fast-growing markets overseas, and provide the support that firms need to grow and eventually ‘go global’. Trade agreements we are negotiating with key partners will go further than others in addressing barriers to digital trade, opening up huge opportunities for our exporters and also for inward investment into the UK.”

“I want the UK to be the leading global voice in digital trade and the intellectual driving force in the space, breaking new ground in trade policy and pushing forward innovative new ideas like a global single market for digital trade.”

Another initiatives being launched is the Tech Exporting Academy which will provide expert advice to businesses on expanding overseas, including taking insight from professional services firms such as Linklaters, Deloitte and KPMG on areas such as tax, intellectual property, regulation and compliance.

Digital Secretary Oliver Dowden said: “The UK is home to a globally renowned tech sector and we are determined to help it grow further by taking an unashamedly pro-tech approach.

“Through this strategy we will give tech businesses of all sizes and all over the country the tools they need to expand their operations overseas and succeed on the world stage.”

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