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Sunday, 18. August 2019  

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UK Global Innovation - Engaging with new countries, regions and people

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The UK is a highly internationalised country. A long legacy of international engagement has developed a tradition of dealing with foreign countries and peoples. This is reflected in the global reach of some well-established UK organisations such as the British Council, the BBC World Service, the Royal Society, the Wellcome Trust and the Commonwealth.

The UK is also a successful magnet for foreign direct investments, especially in R&D, and is regarded as one of the world's favouritedestinations by big international players.

1But the nature of international relations is changing. And this reflects the interplay of three main drivers: international diaspora (migration), ICT, and the entrance of new countries to the global knowledge economy.


Together, they are creating a new form of globalisation, described by some as ‘globalisation from below', which is based on the interactions of people and small organisations across borders,

2 cultures and distance.

This new form of globalisation gives a bigger clout to the ‘soft power' of small players in global relations.

3 The ‘soft power' of countries interplays with traditional ‘hard power' (e.g. diplomacy, military, economic weight, etc.) to leverage greater influence. For example, both the Chinese and Indian diaspora add to the growing power of the Chinese and Indian economies' role in the world.

Through its cultural diversity, linguistic coincidence (English as a global lingua franca), migrant population, foreign students, international academics, and high level of ICT and transport connectivity, the UK is well placed to benefit from the rise of ‘globalisation from below', particularly in the area of innovation.

Other countries including Australia, Brazil, Canada, Israel, South Korea, Taiwan and the US have shown how diasporas', immigrants' and foreign students' social networks can extend a country's business and economic relations. By learning from thei experiences, the UK can benefit from this form of globalisation too. Internally, globalisation remains concentrated in London and the South East; they are also the main routes through which other UK regions and nations link to globalisation.

UK Global Innovation report (PDF)







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