Press release

British tech booms on global stage at Mobile World Congress

Department for International Trade (DIT) helps record number of UK firms to exhibit at world’s largest mobile technology show in Barcelona, building on growing tech appetite for ‘Silicon UK’.

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A record 167 UK tech companies are flying the flag for Britain this week at the annual Mobile World Congress (MWC) in a bid to attract global business partners, helped by Government support.

They join firms from over 200 countries at the largest ever gathering of over 100,000 tech professionals, entrepreneurs and investors from global tech giants like Samsung and Huawei to new start-ups. With one of the largest national presences the UK, through DIT, is helping small firms across the country showcase their ideas abroad.

Of the bumper delegation travelling to Barcelona from across the UK, 58 companies who secured government financial support are representing regions such as Devon, Manchester and Staffordshire, with 17 from Scotland alone.

Speaking at the event, International Trade Minister Greg Hands said:

The world continues to see the UK as a leading technology destination of choice, with global tech companies such as Facebook, Apple and Google leading the charge to invest in Silicon UK.

We have some of the most innovative tech talent and entrepreneurs in the world, and I want to encourage other investors to take notice and take advantage of our expertise and ideas. Global industry shows, like Mobile World Congress, are a huge opportunity for small businesses, and my department is here helping more UK companies than ever build the connections they need to revolutionise the world and go global.

The UK’s tech sector attracts more international inward investment than the rest of Europe combined with 25% of all overseas inward investment into Europe coming to the UK. Over 348,000 people work in UK telecomms and related software development.

DIT is working with 75 UK firms at Mobile World Congress to showcase their products and ideas and match them with potential partners and investors through meetings at the conference. This follows the continued commitment of global brands to the UK, with Snapchat choosing the UK for its new international HQ, and Google and Facebook both increasing their staff here.

With worldwide mobile data traffic expected to increase a hundredfold in the next 5 years, as more people get online, the government is helping UK firms seize an increasing global market.

Companies DIT is supporting include What3Words which offers national postal services and aid agencies a pinpoint accurate global address system. Its revolutionary mapping system has also been nominated for 2 Global Mobile Awards being announced out at MWC.

Giles Rhys Jones, Director at What3Words said:

MWC is a fantastic platform to reach potential partners, investors and influencers, and the support we have received from the Department for International Trade to help us get here has been fantastic.

Published 28 February 2017