UK digital firms leading the way in global trade race

British technology companies – including those from Wales – have seen international trade grow by 20 per cent, according to new statistics from the UK Government.

This research – compiled by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport – shows that the UK tech sector exported £39 billion of services in 2016. That’s compared to £32 billion from the previous year.

Exports of physical technology products, such as manufactured electronics and computers, were also strong. Shipments in this area were up by 7.3 per cent and valued at £15 billion during the same time period.

The news comes as the government continues to expand the Digital and Industrial Strategy. It’s pledged to invest £1 billion in artificial intelligence, provide tax relief to technology firms and spend 2.4 per cent of GDP on research and development.

Digital Secretary Matt Hancock said: “These new statistics show our tech sector is in demand from businesses and consumers around the globe, with exports up by a fifth.

“We are working hard to create the right environment for them to thrive and alongside the huge innovation of the private sector are determined to seize all the future opportunities technology will bring.”

Growth in Wales

Cardiff was recently named one of the UK’s fastest-growing technology clusters, boasting more than 20,000 digital jobs. Last year, it generated £641 million in revenue, and 78 new tech firms launched between 2016 and 2017.

Firms such as Amplyfi, Wealthify and DevOpsGuys have all been tipped as future technology unicorns, and Wales is also a hotspot for areas such as cyber security and fintech.

Secretary of State for Wales Alun Cairns said: “These statistics underline that Wales is an established market leader and innovator in technology, home to a burgeoning number of start-ups and established giants of fintech like Go Compare.

“The sector is generating more than £600 million in turnover every year and flourishing new technology companies are discovering that investors want to back them in Wales.

“The UK Government is committed to helping technology flourish and Tech Nation’s annual snapshot points to an industry on the cusp of even faster growth.”