LONDON - BRITAIN is looking to turn Olympic Park in its capital into a rival to Silicon Valley, as part of plans to create a new home for the world's leading technology companies.

At the same time, it is aiming to make it easier for Internet entrepreneurs to get visas to move here, compensating for a general hardening of the country's immigration regimes. And it is looking at reviewing stringent intellectual property laws, to encourage companies developing new online services and products to relocate to London.

Eventually, it is hoped that Olympic Park, a district redeveloped to host the 2012 Summer Olympic Games, could serve as a hub for high-tech businesses - strengthening the city's growing cluster of technology firms in the Old Street and Shoreditch districts, now dubbed the 'Silicon Roundabout' after a major traffic circle nearby.

'Right now, Silicon Valley is the leading place in the world for high-tech growth and innovation. But there's no reason why it has to be so predominant,' said Prime Minister David Cameron in a speech.

'Our ambition is to bring together the creativity and energy of Shoreditch and the incredible possibilities of the Olympic Park to help make East London one of the world's great technology centres.'

The reward for success is a big one. According to the Boston Consulting Group, Internet-related businesses are worth about 100 billion (S$207 billion) a year to the British economy, more than the construction or transport sectors.

Britain's 'Silicon Valley'