Truss us: Asia-Pacific is a data goldmine, says minister

Elizabeth_Truss_960_x_640The UK Government is risking further ructions with Brussels after revealing plans to strike deals on the free flow of data with Asia-Pacific nations, which it claims will go further than anything the EU could ever offer.

With Brexit negotiations on a knife-edge once more, the prospect of a no deal puts the UK’s £240bn data economy at risk, a threat which has already sparked warnings from everyone from data protection experts and the DMA to the CBI and the UK Information Commissioner’s Office.

But the Government insists its new Future Tech Trade Strategy, revealed at London Tech Week, will open up a “very advanced digital and data chapter” with 11 Pacific nations of Comprehensive & Progressive Agreement for Trans Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) which includes Japan, Mexico, Canada, Chile, Australia and New Zealand.

Secretary of state for international trade Liz Truss said arrangements with these countries would allow for a digital single market to be established with the UK and any nation in question.

She added: “Japan is important in its own right, of course it’s a hugely advanced technology nation, but it’s also the biggest player in CPTPP. And CPTPP has a very advanced digital and data chapter. I want the UK to also become part of that and make it much easier for us to do digital business with all of those 11 countries that are part of CPTPP.”

To support this, the Government is setting up an £8 million digital trade network for Asia Pacific, with tech experts located in UK embassies and high commissions who can help explain how to approach digital trade locally.

Truss concluded: “I really do feel that we are world leading in technology. I think that the last few months have really demonstrated the resilience and expertise of UK tech.

“I am very keen to get out there helping you sell what you do and work with liked-minded partners across the world to build a really global proposition.”

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