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Frictionless Trade

How can UK workers and companies benefit from digital trade?

Digital industries are crucial for the economy. The digital economy is expanding rapidly, and if harnessed properly will drive growth and prosperity to parts of the country most in need of economic revitalisation. As ministers look to fulfil the Government’s “Global Britain” ambitions, it will be critical to realise the opportunities from the digital trade agenda. 

As recent discussions have shown, there are still many barriers to secure robust digital trade agreements. International actors are increasingly keen to shape the new digital global economy but there is no consensus. For some, the digital market should stay free and unregulated; for others, while keen on freedom in principle, limited regulation will lead to challenging data usage and safeguarding challenges; the last group sees openness as a security risk and favours protectionist measures to undermine international competitors. 

Domestic regulation will both shape and be shaped by our international commitment. So it is essential that the UK does not walk into international agreements without a comprehensive plan. This event will be a chance to reflect on the interaction between these two spheres as well as the opportunities for the UK as it builds its domestic and international digital infrastructure. It will provide an opportunity to highlight where the UK is leading on digital issues, and how this sector of the economy can benefit both UK workers and companies to boost productivity and global competitiveness. 

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October 4, 2022


Library of Birmingham, Room 101

This event is kindly supported by Google


  • Rt Hon Conor Burns MP, Minister of State for International Trade
  • Sam Lowe, Director of Trade, Flint Global
  • Emilio Casalicchio, International Trade and Politics Correspondent, POLITICO
  • Aidan Corley, Government Affairs & Public Policy Manager, Google
  • Francesca Fraser, Senior Researcher, Onward