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'Macron will be choking on his croissants' as UK beats France for tech investment

According to government figures, tech companies in the UK received greater venture capital investments in the first five month of this year than their counterparts in France, Germany and China.

Chris Philp, minister for digital economy, joked that President Macron would be eating croissants this morning as he announced data at the London Tech Week’s opening.

More than 950 British technology companies have raised more than PS12.4bn in funding since 31 May. This puts the UK in second place in terms of start up investment, behind only the US.

These figures were made public as the UK government launched its new Digital Strategy for the UK “to grow and create more high-skilled, highly-paid jobs by establishing the UK as a global technology superpower”.

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Confederation of British Industry (CBI), which released figures showing that the UK economic contraction was shockingly 0.3% during April, stressed the importance of economic growth.



Petrol prices surpass PS1.85 – Business group warns that “for many it will feel as a recession this year” – Cost of living latest

CBI, Britain’s largest employer group, has lamented the “toxic recipe” for growth. It warned that there was a danger that the economy would become a “distant third” to politics in the next months due to the cost of living crisis and airports struggling to cope. There are also planned rail strikes and “Groundhog Day” battles with EU over the Northern Ireland Protocol.

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These data echo widespread warnings about a prolonged period with low economic growth. This is due to a high cost of living which will only get worse as energy costs rise further to inflame inflation.

Image Chris Philp (the UK’s minister of technology and the digital economy) made the comment

Forecasts have prompted the British Chambers of Commerce and Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development to downgrade growth expectations last week. The latter warned that the UK had one of the most weakest outlook of any major economic country, except Russia.


UK Digital Strategy

Philp stated that the government was seeking to increase the UK’s tech sector’s gross value by PS41bn over the next three year, creating 700,000.

This could be accomplished by a variety of complementary activities. Sky News reported that the UK’s new data-reform bill would be. It was also announced in the Queen’s Speech.

Sky News has learned that the publication of the government’s response to the public consultation regarding data reform has been delayed due to government departments trying to decide what they will say.

The Quantum Strategy will be published by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy in late 2012. A strategy paper on semiconductors will also be published later in the year. This strategy paper will review the UK’s position on the global market after a supply shortfall.

A white paper on AI governance (artificial Intelligence) is also expected to be released later in the year. It will outline a “light-touch” approach to regulating AI and encourage innovation.

John Edwards, the new information commissioner for AI, may challenge some of the government’s ideas about AI. He spoke to Sky News earlier this year . However, businesses support measures that allow them to use data they process to improve their products.

Philp stated that the government would encourage British pension funds to invest into the UK’s technology sector.

“There is a tremendous opportunity for UK financial institutions (especially pension funds) to allocate a lot of capital to pre-IPO technology in a manner that their North American counterparts in America and Canada do.

“They are hugely under-allocated to tech [and] so UK pension funds are missing out on an incredible return opportunity.

“And if they allocate even a small percentage of their multitrillion pound assets under management into UK Tech, they will not only generate higher returns for their investors and pensioners but also help unleash a wave innovation that will rival the west coast.”

“So, in the coming weeks & months, I’ll work with colleagues in government as well as the sector in tech sector to find ways to make this happen,” Mr Philp said.

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