UK digital and tech firms power ahead in global trade race

TIGA has welcomed new figures that show UK digital firms have grown their exports by more than 20 per cent, helping cement the UK’s reputation as a world leader in tech.

Figures published by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) show the digital sector exported more than £39bn in services in 2016, up from £32bn in 2015, as UK firms capitalised on the rapid digitisation of the world economy. This is unprecedented growth of 21.8 per cent year on year and shows Britain is well-placed to seize the future trading opportunities linked to cutting-edge technology.

Video games companies have been doing their part to improve the sector’s export performance. The industry is especially export focussed, with 95 per cent of video games developers exporting at least some of their games. The industry contributes £1.5 billion to the UK economy each year.

Meanwhile, exports of services in the creative industries by UK firms grew more than 27 per cent between 2015 and 2016, and they are worth more than £27bn. This includes sectors such as publishing, advertising, marketing as well as film, TV, radio and photography.

Commenting on the figures, Dr Richard Wilson OBE, Chief Executive Officer of TIGA, said:

“It is fantastic to see the digital sector powering forward and contributing to the UK’s exports in such a significant way. These figures demonstrate that the UK is a world leader in digital industries and we expect this success to be replicated over the coming years.

“The video games industry plays an important role within the digital sector. The vast majority of our developers export video games, helped by the importance of digital distribution in the industry. We look forward to growing our industry by developing our skills base and doubling down on our efforts to break into new markets.

“Looking ahead, it is important for the Government to retain and potentially enhance the Video Games Tax Relief, because this will encourage further growth in the sector. In addition, TIGA is campaigning to introduce a Games Investment Fund which would help studios access finance, develop new Intellectual Property and grow their games businesses.”

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