The chancellor of the exchequer Philip Hammond has voiced his aspirations for the UK: even post-Brexit, he hopes it will continue to pioneer the FinTech revolution.
He spoke today at the HM government’s inaugural International FinTech Conference in London, calling on innovators, investors, and regulators to help him see this vision through by continuing to attract skilled workers from overseas. He added:
Help us build a truly world-beating new tech sector. We cannot rest on our laurels.
In this post-Brexit climate, there exist a lot of UK tech entrepreneurs that are feeling worried about their access to overseas talent. Hammond addressed this concern, saying that it was important for the country to continue attracting the “brightest and best from around the world”. But, while he admitted the importance of attracting overseas workers, Hammond also said:
We must also do better at nurturing and developing the home-grown talent to drive our economy forward in the future.
Keeping Brexit in mind, Hammond extrapolated on the UK’s need to make good on its future outside of the European Union (EU), by building trade links with fast-growing economies in Asia. He noted:
We have to invest in the skills of the future … and our economy must remain at the cutting edge.
The chancellor’s speech follows from his very recent visit with a business delegation to India, seemingly in an endeavor to attract businesses in the nation after PM Theresa May triggered Article 50 at the end of March. He said:
Help us build a truly world-beating new tech sector. Let your ideas, your apps, your services, your equity demonstrate what’s really possible when government, business and regulators all pull in the same direction.
He also emphasized the necessity of investing in the skills of the future, and of boosting not just FinTech, but also emerging sectors such as AI, BioTech and every other area in which the UK has the potential to be a leading force, saying:
We will have to strive and graft and fight to seize opportunities; and make the most of them. That means growing and strengthening the areas – like FinTech – in which we enjoy a comparative advantage … and it means ensuring we are producing the people with the skills and the aptitude to become the next wave of innovators, entrepreneurs and investors.