Nicola Sturgeon stresses importance of international links with Scotland

Tue 21 Jan 2020
Posted by: Ana Pintor
Trade News

Scottish exports

The First Minister is looking to strengthen & increase Scotland's exports with a 10 year government plan. After conversations with business leaders & trade experts, Ms Sturgeon made her aim clear, elevate Scotland's status as an exporter but in more detail, to increase exports from 20% to 25% of Scotland's GDP.

At the CBI's International Trade conference in Edinburgh, Nicola Sturgeon gave more of an insight into the government's 10 year exports target.

These include:

 - Expanding the GlobalScot network of people making contacts and identifying opportunities in international markets from 600 to 2000, including doubling the number in Europe from 250 to 500 by the end of 2020

 - By the end of March 2020 Scottish Development International (SDI) will have in place a further 12  specialists focusing on international markets that offer the greatest opportunities for export growth

 - Continuing to expand the FM Export Challenge programme by arranging 40 new mentorships – under which existing exporters advise other businesses – by April 2020

 - An SDI trade specialist has  been allocated to each one of about 1,200 companies identified as being key to achieving the Scottish Government’s export target
The First Minister said:

Nicola Sturgeon commented:

“Brexit threatens to be hugely damaging to Scotland’s economy and presents a particular challenge to exporters as we are taken out of the world’s biggest single market, which is around eight times bigger than the UK market.

“Short of continued EU or single market membership, the Scottish Government is continuing to argue for close alignment with the EU, as that would provide the best access to European markets, but we cannot predict what will happen.

“What I can guarantee is that the Scottish Government will strengthen our international ties and an important part of that involves encouraging more businesses to export. We cannot wait for the confusion surrounding the UK Government’s Brexit negotiations to clear before taking action to protect Scottish businesses and jobs.

“Our aim is to ensure businesses receive the support and expertise they need. As well as the initiatives I have outlined today, our enterprise agencies are expanding to meet exporters’ needs. We are also supporting the Scottish Chambers of Commerce to deliver around 35 trade missions this year and working closely with the CBI and others to help drive the FM Export Challenge.

“Boosting our exports will be good for productivity, good for the balance of trade and good for our quality of life. I want to see a strong Scottish economy built on successful, internationally competitive businesses.”