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UK to set out five-point plan for digital trade

Minister for trade Anne-Marie Trevelyan will say she wants to "break down barriers" to facilitate business opportunities

The UK will look to break down digital trade barriers to help businesses export services, the newly appointed minister for trade, Anne-Marie Trevelyan, is expected to say on Monday.

Trevelyan is set to use her first speech since taking the role last week to set out a five-point plan for digital trade.

It will include plans to facilitate more open digital markets, advocate free and trusted cross-border data flows, champion consumer and business safeguards through intellectual property protections, promote the development and adoption of digital trading systems and also establish global cooperation on digital trade via free trade agreements via the G7.

"All of us depend on digital trade, yet British businesses face digital barriers in countries who take a protectionist approach. I want the UK to break down these barriers and open up new, exciting opportunities for businesses and consumers so we can see improved productivity, jobs and growth," Trevelyan is expected to say. 

"Our five-point plan is the first step in shaping international digital trade policy for decades to come. Through our network of international agreements, we are breaking new ground, pushing forward innovative ideas and setting a new gold standard for digital trade."

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Trade deals often focus on the removal of barriers, but since Brexit, the UK has sought to include agreements on digital trade and common standards in professional services to boost service sector growth. 

Last week, the Department for International Trade published a report seeking to predict trends in global trade up to 2050, with forecasts that demand for digital services will double over the next decade. 

Over the next few months, the government has said it will look to conclude negotiations with other "key" partners, such as Australia and New Zealand, in a bid to accelerate its 'Comprehensive and Progressive Trans-Pacific Partnership.

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