A new report from Government-backed trade association Tech Nation suggests that UK digital tech exports are projected to grow by 35% by 2025, resulting in an additional £8.15bn worth of tech exports.
The data comes from its Unlocking Global Tech report, assessing the value of UK digital tech exports and exploring the opportunities and challenges for digital tech companies to expand and scale in different regions around the world post Covid-19.
It reports that UK exports are “booming”, and trade surplus has increased by 68% over the last four years, to £12.8bn in 2019
It suggests that Post-Brexit, UK tech companies should look to the US, Israel, Canada, Germany and The Netherlands as the most attractive export markets, and Brazil and Singapore are the fastest rising global opportunities.
The report found that the UK was the 5th greatest digital tech services exporter in the world, at £23.3bn in 2019, sitting behind India, the USA, China and Germany in the global rankings.
It said the position is driven by a relatively high number (7,497) of high growth exporting tech companies in the UK, many of which are yet to realise their full exporting potential.
UK digital tech services currently export a much greater value of goods than they import, generating a significant trade surplus of 55% in 2019. This compares favourably to the average trade surplus among the top 57 countries globally, which is 48%.
The report also shows that the US was the biggest importer of global digital tech services in 2019, valued at £34bn, followed by Germany at £33bn and China at £21bn.
India, Japan, and Brazil have seen the biggest growth in the level of tech services they import – by 29%, 24% and 17% respectively between 2018 and 2019.
Tech Nation’s Chief Executive Gerard Grech said: “The UK is a natural home for many scaling tech businesses, and there are a proportionally high number of scaling tech businesses located here that are already well-established in delivering domestic tech services.
“The UK is also third in the world for the number of UK tech unicorns, and number one in Europe. These factors give us a strong conviction that UK founders, government and industry leaders should all be gearing up to double tech exports by 2025, in the aftermath of both the pandemic and Brexit.
“By doubling exports, UK tech could contribute an additional £23bn to the economy per year by 2025 and move up the ranks to become a top global exporter of tech.”
The rankings are determined by factors that contribute to the attractiveness of a location for doing business, with an emphasis on digital tech products and services.
Variables such as infrastructure, access to talent and education levels, ease of doing business, regulation, language and consumers are weighted and aggregated to give a sense, for each country, of the opportunity for trade.