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Scotland set for new trade alliances

Published: 1 Dec 2016 19:00

Funding for Scottish ChambersĀ of Commerce to build international links.

Scottish businesses will forge new global trading alliances thanks to new support from the Scottish Government.

The Scottish Chambers of Commerce will receive up to £400,000 to deliver permanent trading alliances between Chambers in Scotland and the international network of Chambers, and to support new business-led trade missions.

A trading alliance is an agreement between two Chambers and their members committing to shared business priorities and specific trade plans.

The move was announced by the First Minister ahead of her speech to the Scottish Chambers of Commerce Annual Business Address in Glasgow.

The First Minister also confirmed the Chair of Scottish Chambers of Commerce, Nora Senior, will be one of the first members of the Scottish Government’s new Board of Trade to encourage new companies to internationalise.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said:

“Internationalisation is a key part of our economic strategy and we are stepping up efforts to raise Scotland’s profile and encourage more Scottish businesses to export. Scotland’s ability to benefit from international trade depends hugely on our continued place in the European single market - the biggest of its kind in the world - and we are exploring all avenues to maintain our membership of it.

“At the same time, we are establishing new hubs in London, Dublin, Brussels and Berlin to boost our business profile, while we will double the number of people working for Scottish Development International on mainland Europe. We are also appointing trade envoys and creating a new board of trade to promote exporters overseas and encourage new companies to internationalise. But we can still do more.

“The membership of the Scottish Chambers of Commerce, more than 11,000 companies, already has ties to more than 180 countries and so are ideally placed to make new overseas links with businesses and Chambers, which will complement the activities of Scottish Development International.

“The Scottish Government will provide £400,000 to the Chambers to support new business-led trade missions and forge new trading alliances between Chambers here and abroad. That is a boost to the resource already committed by the Chamber network and will contribute to our shared efforts to boost internationalisation.

“I am also delighted to confirm that Nora Senior has agreed to be one of the first members of the board of trade, a good indication of the level of expertise that we will be able to draw on in the years ahead.”

Liz Cameron OBE, Director and Chief Executive, said:

“Today’s announcement marks a significant new step in our long-standing drive to use the power of the international Chambers network to drive more exports from Scotland. The Scottish Government’s very welcome support will help us to capitalise on the excellent work which our Network have been doing to build relationships with their counterparts in Italy, Iceland, the US, Mexico, Iran and many more. We are now ready to turbocharge that effort.

“It has long been our belief that exploiting grass roots business-to-business international connectivity via the unparalleled reach of international Chambers of Commerce has the potential to deliver a revolution in the way our SMEs trade overseas. Combined with the support of Scottish Development International and the influence of Scotland’s international diaspora in key target markets, this will put our network in a position to have real measurable impact in boosting Scotland’s exports – resulting in jobs, growth and wealth.”