In March 2015, the UK Government published its response to the Wilson Review of Support for Scottish Exporting. This announced the creation of a short life cross-government Joint Working Group to deliver a practical and operational response to key recommendations in the Wilson Review.
The UK Government response identified two linked and overarching themes for action:
- Delivering simplicity and clarity across the diverse portfolios of high quality public and private export support available to businesses in Scotland.
- Achieving greater collaboration, co-operation and alignment between the organisations providing support to Scottish exporters.
The Joint Working Group, chaired by the Scotland Office, brought together representatives from UK Trade & Investment ( UKTI), Scottish Government and Scottish Development International ( SDI). Together the Group has created the attached action plan which sets out the work now on-going to address recommendations in the Wilson Review which can be jointly addressed by the governments and respective delivery agencies.
Whilst the Wilson Review focuses on Scotland, the overarching themes have significant pertinence across the UK. Through regular monthly Partnership Forums, UKTI is working with the devolved administrations more widely to improve and expand the export offer for business across the whole of the UK and to ensure that UKTI's sectoral expertise and global geographic reach complement services delivered by the devolved administrations.
The fact that a wide range of businesses, business representative bodies and trade associations contributed to the Wilson Review, is illustrative of the strong interest across all sectors in delivering effective support to Scottish exporters. Going forward, the organisations that were involved in the Joint Working Group will continue to promote co-operation and alignment between providers of export advice and support in Scotland, to ensure the best service possible for the Scottish business community.
The Joint Working Group was established to outline a course of action: it was never the intention to replace or replicate established working arrangements. Responsibility for delivering the agreed actions, outlined in the annex to this document, will fall to the delivery agencies. Work to address the Wilson Review recommendations will also be detailed in the forthcoming Trade and Investment Strategy for Scotland  .
Going forward, both governments and the respective delivery agencies are committed to continuing to strengthen the relationship between UKTI and SDI and to making constructive use of available resources to help Scottish businesses achieve their export ambitions. Ministers have a strong interest in effective implementation of the action plan.
Email: Jamie McGarvey, firstname.lastname@example.org