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Swinney comments on export figures

Published: 27 Jan 2016 09:30

Commenting on Export Statistics Scotland 2014 figures published today, Deputy First Minister John Swinney said:

"These figures show total export sales in 2014 from Scotland increased over the year, by £570 million to £76 billion.

"There was a positive increase in sales to the rest of the UK in 2014, up by £1.5 billion to £48.5 billion. Exports to North America grew by 2.8 per cent. The value of exports to the USA, the number one country for Scottish exports, grew to £4 billion as a result of growth in the US economy stimulating demand for Scottish imports.

"It is, however, a mixed picture. There was a fall in exports to Europe in 2014, with both a weak pace of recovery across the EU and the relatively strong value of sterling combining to make it more challenging for Scottish firms. The EU is still our largest international export region, with exports of £11.6 billion from Scotland in 2014, 42 per cent of all our international export sales.

"Manufacture of food and drink continues to be our top export sector, accounting for £4.8 billion of exports. Excluding whisky, exports from the manufacture of food and drink sector increased by eight per cent to £815 million in 2014.

"International exports from Scotland have now increased by 17.3 per cent since 2010, more than the 15.9 per cent increase for the UK as a whole.

"The Scottish Government and its enterprise agencies are supporting more companies than ever with their export ambitions, with SDI helping over 2,500 companies to develop skills to internationalise, access new markets or increase international revenues.

"Separate figures published last year also estimate the number of exporting businesses in Scotland has increased every year since 2011, to around 11,100 businesses.

"Our new Trade and Investment Strategy, which will be published shortly, will set out a clear approach to boosting exports further, increasing the number of exporting companies and attracting new investment to Scotland."

Notes to editors

The full statistical publication, Exports Statistics Scotland 2014, can be accessed at: http://www.gov.scot/Topics/Statistics/Browse/Economy/Exports/ESSPublication