International trade secretary Liz Truss has said the UK is using its flourishing technology industry – including fintech – as part of its post-Brexit trade deal negotiations.
In a speech this week, Truss said that “we really are leaders in the area of services and technology”, citing areas such as the UK’s fast-growing computer games industry and home-grown fintech giants like Revolut, Monzo and Transferwise.
“From robotics to fintechs, to computer games, to green finance, we are the second largest exporter in the world, totalling £318bn, and we export nearly as many services from Scotland and the North West of England as the entirety of France does,” she said at TheCityUK National Conference.
“We are the top FDI destination in Europe, with more investment in technology than Germany and France put together, totalling more than £10bn.”
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Truss said that the UK could use its strengths in these areas to help shape a global framework.
“What I think we can do with our own independent trading policy is we can help shape the future of the global rules in areas like digital services, that haven’t seen the level of reform that they need to at the World Trade Organisation,” Truss said.
“We can work with likeminded partners, other countries that believe in free enterprise, democracy, and the global rules-based system, to actually promote those new areas like digital and data trade.”
Truss explained that the UK has “unparalleled opportunities ahead” because it is prepared to be innovative in the fields of digital and data agreements, which could benefit the domestic industry in the UK but also attract more investment overseas.
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“I think this year, of all years, we have seen that our services and digital and data trade is a key for the future prosperity of the UK,” she added.
“At the department for international trade we are absolutely determined to make sure that we continue to deliver on that, that we continue to open up new opportunities, and we continue to work with this industry that is so vital for the whole of the UK.”
Truss has launched 11 trade advisory groups to support the nation’s trade negotiations with countries outside of the EU.
Innovate Finance chief Charlotte Crosswell is part of the financial services group and will represent the peer-to-peer lending sector in trade talks.