Digital trade barriers risk fragmenting the world into regional and national “splinternets” unless governments agree on a shared approach to data regulation and transfers.
Financial services lobby TheCityUK yesterday warned that digital trade has become increasingly difficult and costly, with restrictions on international data transfers more than doubling in the last five years.
It said that digital trade is essential to the financial services industry, with 86 per cent of UK financial services exports that were worth about £53bn in 2020 being delivered digitally.
TheCityUK said the government should seek bilateral deals with trade partners to ease data flows to address the growing tide of protectionism surrounding cross-border data transfers.
Nicola Watkinson, managing director for international trade and investment, said: “It is essential for the UK to strive to prevent further moves toward international digital protectionism to champion an open approach, refine its data policies, and agree on new bilateral and multilateral partnerships.”