SDI-supported Scots exporters in £1.4bn sales boost


New figures from Scottish Development International (SDI) show that support it provided to companies across Scotland in the past financial year will result in £1.44 billion of planned international sales over the next three years.

SDI, Scottish Enterprise’s international trade and investment arm, supported Scottish firms to enter 208 new markets in FY21-22, with a focus on the United States, China, Germany, Spain and France.

As part of this, 176 new products and services left Scotland for these markets last year.

The results, which combine company projects supported by SDI, Scottish Enterprise and its sister agencies Highlands and Islands Enterprise and South of Scotland Enterprise, were announced by Scottish Government Minister for Business, Trade, Tourism and Enterprise, Ivan McKee.

McKee said: “These latest results are extremely positive, and they highlight the demand for Scotland’s good and services across the globe.

“Trade and Investment plays an integral role to help us create new, sustainable jobs and grow our economy.

“The resilience of Scottish businesses over the last few years is testament of the approach set out in our Export Growth Plan – A Trading Nation.

“Despite the complications of the COVID-19 pandemic and the consequences of Brexit, Scottish companies have been able to export their goods to international markets resulting in over £1.44bn of estimated sales within the next three years.

“We want to make sure that we are delivering on the aims of the National Strategy for Economic Transformation by creating sustainable jobs and growing our economy.

“International trade and investment plays a major role in enabling us to meet these targets, so it is important that we continue to support Scottish companies in realising key markets across the world.”

SDI focused its trade activities on supporting companies within sectors where it said Scotland’s greatest export strengths currently lie — Consumer Industries, Science and Technology, and Energy and Low Carbon Transition.

Examples of firms SDI assisted over the past year include agritech innovator Intelligent Growth Solutions, marine energy management firm Verlume, and Boe Gin, a distillery which creates small batch gins and vodkas at their premises in the village of Throsk, near Stirling.

Scottish Enterprise CEO Adrian Gillespie said: “These are very positive results and show that despite a difficult environment for exporters, Scotland’s goods and services continue to be incredibly attractive to global markets and buyers.

“Scottish exporters have demonstrated enormous resilience over the past year to adjust to the challenges they have faced due to COVID-19, Brexit and now the conflict in Ukraine.

“Our SDI Trade colleagues have been there to support companies every step of the way, providing knowledge, skills and access to our international networks, enabling hundreds of firms to enter new markets overseas.

“Supporting innovative Scottish companies scale up and grow through exports is a priority for us.  Not only is this a major contributor to Scotland’s economy, an international focus plays a vital role in encouraging the innovation and competitiveness that are essential to our future economy.

“With markets fully opening up and our exporters taking advantage of additional routes to overseas customers, we are positive about future trade opportunities for Scottish exporters.

“Through our values-led approach, Scottish Enterprise and our partners will continue to do what we can to support Scottish companies grow and develop internationally.”