Technology is an important and growing sector. In fact, sales of our digital tech exports totalled £23 billion last year, and Oxford Economics thinks they will be worth up to £31 billion by 2025. Our ambitious approach to digital trade in free trade agreements will boost exports, and support economic growth, job creation and prosperity. We have negotiated strong measures, not least in Japan, and will seek similar outcomes in our talks with the United States, Australia, New Zealand and the comprehensive and progressive agreement for trans-Pacific partnership.
There are specific issues including not having to worry about the added cost of setting up data servers in Japan because of the elements that look at data transfer; a guarantee that the trade secrets underpinning innovations of entrepreneurs in my hon. Friend’s constituency are protected and do not have to be shared across borders; and a clear commitment that entrepreneurs on both sides of the agreement will be able to operate in an open, secure and trustworthy online environment.
Tech firms in my hon. Friend’s constituency and across the UK will benefit from the opening of markets and the minimisation of barriers to trade, which will allow them to expand internationally, not least in the Asia-Pacific region. The joint DIT and Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport digital trade network, which was launched by my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State in June, will significantly improve our support for businesses from my hon. Friend’s constituency in that fast-growing part of the world.