Digital revolution 'at heart of UK recovery', says Brown

The digital revolution "lies at the heart" of Britain's economic recovery, prime minister Gordon Brown said today.

In a keynote speech to leading players from the fields of broadcasting and technology, Brown said the UK must embrace new media to compete on the global stage.

He said: "Only by embracing a digital Britain and taking a lead in the global digital economy can we maintain our competitiveness as one of the world's leading economic and industrial powers in years to come."

The global economy is likely to double in size in the next two decades, he said, with billions of people in India, China and other parts of Asia becoming consumers of goods and services.

Britain's challenge is to use its skills in the technological and creative industries to take advantage of these emerging markets, Brown said.

"We may not compete with them on scale or low pay, but we can compete on high value-added goods, and services," he told the Digital Britain summit.

He said universal broadband access across the country would be integral in Britain's success.

Mr Brown added: "I do think that the digital revolution lies at the heart of success for Britain in the years to come.

"Achieving that goal of universal connectivity to broadband will be a critical stepping stone to a digital Britain."

The digital economy now makes up around 8% of Britain's GDP, according to Downing Street figures.

Figures including broadcaster and technophile Stephen Fry, culture secretary Andy Burnham, business secretary Peter Mandelson and Sly Bailey, chief executive of Trinity Mirror, were also discussing the UK's place in a global digital economy at the British Library in London today.

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