The UK Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS) is delighted to have
worked with the UK Trade Policy Observatory at the University of Sussex and the Centre
for Economic Policy Research to host a Virtual Conference on “Addressing Impediments
to Digital Trade”.
Digital trade is essential to the UK economy. Experimental estimates indicate that over
half of the UK’s services exports to the rest of the world in 2019 were digitally delivered.
This trade relies on the free flow of data. Around the world, data flows in 2014 were 45
times larger than in 2005. The value of data flows has overtaken the value of global trade
in physical goods.
The UK has now successfully negotiated new digital chapters in free trade agreements
with Japan and the EU. The UK–EU Trade and Cooperation Agreement goes further
on digital provisions than any other EU trade deal, by including provisions such as a
permanent ban on data localisation, and a commitment on Open Government Data.

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