Last night UK Prime Minister Theresa May delivered a crucial speech on the future of UK and global business environments to the traditional annual gathering of the City of London’s Lord Mayor.
British Prime Ministers have given speeches before industry bosses at the ‘Lord Mayor’s Banquet’ in London for more than 200 years.
Managing Director of the Global Banking School, Richard Bingley, said:
“The PM’s speech gave a fascinating overview of the UK government’s perspective of international financial organisations, partnerships, regulation, and the direction of travel for emerging technology. Mrs May’s speech is an excellent read for business and finance students who seek to understand the challenges that political turbulence and rapid technical advancement pose to managers and organisational leaders.”
At the annual banquet, UK Prime Minster Theresa May said:
“We are in a time of unprecedented interconnectedness.”
She later told the audience:
“A damaging trade war with spiralling tariffs is in no-one’s interests. But we must be honest in identifying problems and do more to work together to fix them.
“So we need an ambitious and urgent process for reform of the World Trade Organisation.
“This includes increasing transparency so countries can see whether rules and commitments are really being honoured – whether on the declaration of subsidies or respect for intellectual property rights. And updating dispute settlement processes to ensure they operate fairly and efficiently.
“It also includes promoting trade in services and digital, not just physical goods.
“For while services now account for 65 percent of global GDP, recent trade negotiations to deliver more ambitious trade in services have stalled.
“And while companies like Amazon and Alibaba have changed the nature of consumer behaviour, the World Trade Organisation has been struggling to remove barriers to e-commerce trade for almost two decades.
“So, these reforms must ensure the rules themselves remain relevant to the modern economy.
“But even as we work to bring the rules up to date, we need to go further.
“For we are now living through the most extraordinary technological transformation.
“A time when flows of data account for a higher proportion of growth than trade in physical goods.
“When Artificial Intelligence could almost double the value of the global digital economy to $23 trillion by 2025.
“And when it could increase global GDP by 14 per cent by 2030.
“In this new context, our standing in the world – and our ability to retain our position as a global economic hub – will depend not only on the steps we take to innovate at home, but crucially also on the role we play in shaping the rules that will define this new era.
“So, I am determined that we will lead the way.
“At home we will continue to pursue our modern Industrial Strategy: matching the innovation of our world-class scientists and entrepreneurs with growing public investment in research and development and a regulatory environment designed to encourage, not stifle change.
“Internationally we will build on our role as an innovator in technology policy and cyber security, and a trusted economic hub between East and West, to position the UK as a pivotal innovation-driven digital economy with global reach and ambitions.
“Our new Centre for Data Ethics and Innovation will work with partners across the world to advise on the rules and best practice needed to build the best, most trusted, most innovative AI and data ecosystem in the world. An ecosystem that will help build the foundation of public support for the tech economy that is so critical to its future success.
“And we will use our influence in organisations like the Internet Governance Forum, meeting in Paris this week, to establish global norms for free and open development of these technologies.”
“Because this is not just about economics.
“It goes to the heart of who we are and the kind of society we want to build.
“Being an open democracy means standing up for our values and freedoms whilst protecting intellectual property and safeguarding against those who would abuse or misuse the access to information that technology brings.
“So, the global rules and norms we need are those that ensure these transformative technologies develop in line with our values and secure the trust of our citizens.
Mrs May concluded:
“…The UK will be at the centre of this global agenda.”
For a full transcript of the UK PM’s speech please go to: www.gov.uk/government/speeches/…