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Chancellor courts US tech leaders in West Coast tour

Jeremy Hunt West Coast tech Image credit: Kirsty O'Connor/HM Treasury.

The chancellor is meeting with Silicon Valley tech leaders this week in an effort to drive investment into the UK.

Jeremy Hunt will meet with executives from Microsoft, Amazon and Alphabet to highlight the UK’s tech sector opportunities.

The trip is part of the chancellor and the prime minister’s ambition to make the UK the “next Silicon Valley”.

The two have positioned the growth of the British tech sector as a key priority for wider economic development in the country.

“The UK is ideally placed to attract fast-growing companies; we have all the right ingredients to become the next Silicon Valley, and I’m going to be shouting about our strengths up and down the west coast of the United States,” said Hunt in a statement ahead of the trip.

“The UK tech industry makes a huge contribution to the economy – becoming the third in the world to achieve a $1tn dollar valuation last year – and we have created the most unicorn companies in Europe, more than France and Germany combined.”

Hunt added: “I’m looking to build on these fantastic successes and increase investment that will bring more exciting jobs to our shores and grow the economy.”

Making the UK the next Silicon Valley has become something of a catchphrase for Hunt. He has used the phrase in several speeches, including to executives from Microsoft, Meta and Alphabet, in a January talk in London.