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UK foreign secretary creates first Indo-Pacific tech envoy

Indo-Pacific Tech Envoy
Image Credit: Rory Arnold / No 10 Downing Street

The foreign secretary is creating the first tech envoy to the Indo-Pacific region to champion the UK’s tech and science sectors.

The tech envoy, who is yet to be appointed, will work in the region to collaborate on “setting global technology standards and helping to solve challenges through innovative technology”.

Foreign Secretary James Cleverly said: “India is also an emerging global leader on technology and there are immense opportunities for better collaboration between us in this sector. That is why we will be sending our first Tech Envoy to the Indo-Pacific region, to maximise the tech expertise of both countries.”

The government appointed its first tech envoy, Joe White MBE, to the US in December 2020.

Cleverly announced the Indo-Pacific tech envoy as part of a visit to India this week. It comes as the foreign secretary launched an exchange scheme for up to 3,000 British and 3,000 Indian professionals to live and work in the other country for up to two years. The Young Professionals Scheme is in part designed to bring additional tech talent to the UK to plug the country’s digital skills shortage.

India has the third-largest number of tech companies, which includes 108 unicorns such as Razorpay, Droom and ShareChat.

During a visit to New Delhi tomorrow the foreign secretary will speak with External Affairs Minister Dr Subrahmanyam Jaishankar about the UK-India 2030 Roadmap, an initiative launched under Boris Johnson to bolster ties between the two nations.

Cleverly added: “India is a hugely important partner to the UK and the deeper ties we are forging now will help to grow the UK economy and boost our industries for the future. This landmark migration scheme will enable the brightest and best in both our countries to benefit from new opportunities.”