New and stronger support for early exporters to grow trade and investment.
New Regional Export Partnerships sharing trade objectives and a tripling of the number of exporting advisors are among plans announced today to boost trade.
The 'Global Scotland Trade and Investment Strategy 2016-2021' renews the Government's and enterprise agencies' focus on attracting inward investment, driving exports and promoting Scottish interests globally, especially in the Middle and Far East.
The strategy galvanises a 'One Scotland' approach, by:
- tripling the number of exporting advisors in Scotland
- funding new Innovation and Investment Hubs in London, Dublin and Brussels, to attract inward investment and help companies and academia access new markets and investors
- strengthening Scottish Development International's High Growth Market Unit to help businesses enter and grow in China, India and the Middle East
- building Scotland's profile and reputation by using a clear identity for international trade activities of the Scottish Government, its agencies and organisations receiving government funding.
The strategy also aims to progress Scotland as a global innovation centre providing solutions to global challenges such as population growth, IT security and energy systems. And for the first time, business will be encouraged to play its part in promoting human rights and supporting development through trade.
Deputy First Minister John Swinney said:
"In a rapidly changing and globalised world, our ability to grow and create a fairer Scotland depends more than ever on trading and on attracting investment.
"Scotland continues to be the most attractive place in the UK outside London for inward investment and events such as the Commonwealth Games and Ryder Cup have put Scotland firmly on the map.
"With international exports increasing by 17 per cent in the past five years, the strategy builds on this success and aims to help more Scottish businesses sell more goods and services to more markets, while helping existing investors to develop and grow in Scotland.
"New regional export partnerships will be formed to get the public and private sector working to shared trade goals, while SDI will triple the number of export advisers working with businesses in Scotland. Working across Government and with partners, we will take the strengths of Scotland's economy to the rest of the world to grow export markets and attract new international capital investment."
Managing Director of Scottish Development International Paul Lewis said:
"International trade and investment is crucial to growing businesses and to developing our economy, bringing with it increased productivity, expanded horizons and exciting new partnerships. This Strategy will help us extend the real benefits of international trade to more businesses operating in more markets while also building on Scotland's reputation as a leading location for international investment."
Mr Swinney made the announcement ahead of a visit to eCom Scotland in Dunfermline, a successful export company that produces management, development and training software such as eLearning and online assessment.
Wendy Edie, Managing Director, eCom Scotland said:
"It's our focus on R&D which has enabled us to develop innovative technologies for workforce learning and assessment, an industry valued at $4 billion globally. We have used experience from UK projects to identify opportunities to lead best practice internationally. Helping us expand into new markets and create digital jobs in Scotland."
Chair of the Scottish Cities Alliance, Councillor Andrew Burns said:
"We welcome the refreshed International Trade and Investment Strategy which provides a strong framework for partnership working with the Alliance to attract the vital capital investment Scotland's cities require to remain globally competitive.
"The strategy recognises the key role cities and their networks play in attracting major investors and developers through the promotion of high quality investment opportunities which are essential to the on-going economic success of our cities.
"These propositions demonstrate to the world that Scotland is an internationally competitive investment location and is leading the UK in developing scaled up opportunities of interest to the global market, responding to investor needs and ensuring that our brand and presence remains strong.
"Scotland's cities offer huge potential to international investors and the Alliance has great ambitions for Scotland's city economies. We will continue to work together, Scotland's seven cities and the Scottish Government in partnership, to share knowledge and create projects of scale that will deliver an economically stronger future for Scotland."
Global Scotland: Scotland's Trade and Investment Strategy 2016-2021 is available at: http://www.gov.scot/Publications/2016/03/7779