New trade results produced by Scottish Development International (SDI), the international arm of Scottish Enterprise, show that support it provided to companies across Scotland in 2022-23 will result in £1.73 billion of planned international sales over the next three years – a 20% increase compared to 2021-22.
The figures, which combine projects supported by Scottish Enterprise, Highlands and Islands Enterprise and South of Scotland Enterprise, were announced by Scottish Government Trade Minister Richard Lochhead.
The figures showed that trade support provided by Scotland’s enterprise agencies enabled Scottish firms to enter 301 new markets during the year, with a focus on the United States, Germany, China, Singapore and the UAE. As part of this, 335 new products and services left Scotland for these markets last year.
Scottish Enterprise CEO Adrian Gillespie said: “These are excellent results and show how attractive Scottish products and services remain to global customers, based on our innovation, strong quality and the ambition of our companies to enter new markets.
“It has been a privilege for our dedicated trade specialists both here in Scotland and across the world to support Scottish businesses on their international growth over the past year. International growth via exports is a key driver of productivity and to the wealth of the country.
“We will continue a targeted approach and focus our trade activities on areas where we get the best results, such as the energy transition, science and technology, and the consumer industries.”
Vicky Grant, Head of International Trade and Investment at Highlands & Islands Enterprise, said: “Highlands and Islands businesses that trade internationally continue to face challenging trading conditions, so these strong results from SDI are particularly encouraging and show positive signs of export recovery.
“Companies in the region are actively looking to expand into new and existing markets worldwide, with a focus on the US, Germany and China.
“Our region’s businesses contribute significantly to the value of Scotland’s exports, which are dominated by sectors such as energy, aquaculture and whisky – sectors where the Highlands and Islands high quality products are internationally recognised.
“Yet again, the region’s seafood sector was well represented at ‘Seafood Expo Global’ in Barcelona – an excellent platform to promote our delicious, high-quality Scottish seafood for global exports.
“We will continue to work with SDI and other partners to help our experienced exporters target new and existing markets, as well as supporting new and early-stage exporters to expand their international sales.”
Professor Russel Griggs, Chair of South of Scotland Enterprise, added: “The SDI trade results for 2022/23 show an increasing demand for Scotland’s products and services, which is hugely encouraging for the country, including the South of Scotland.
“It is pleasing to see energy and low carbon transition as one of Scotland’s key export strengths. With the South of Scotland having significant Natural Capital assets, this market presents significant opportunities for our people, businesses and communities.
“South of Scotland Enterprise is committed to working with SDI and our other Team Scotland partners to continue to grow Scotland’s exports and contribute to the wellbeing of the country.”
Scottish Government Trade Minister Richard Lochhead said: “International trade and investment are integral in our efforts to expand our economy and create new long-term jobs as set out in our National Strategy for Economic Transformation and our Export Growth Plan – A Trading Nation.
“It is crucial that we continue to support businesses to secure significant trade opportunities and partnerships around the globe.”