Scottish Government expands export support for small business



Scottish companies will be helped to trade internationally with up to £2 million in investment, over three years, as part of the Scottish Government’s export growth plan.

The provision comes as part of the Programme for Government, previously announced by the Scottish Government, through which it pledged a total of £20 million over the next three years for promoting exports.

The government said it will work with the Scottish Chambers of Commerce to develop a programme of activity, including trade missions, which will help to exploit opportunities in international markets.

Businesses will be able to establish global business links and build exporting capacity utilising SCC’s extensive and far-reaching international business network.

The latest statistics show Scottish exports of goods increased 6% to £29.6 billion over the past year to September 2018 – the fastest rate of growth of any country in the UK.

Announcing the latest funding at the Scottish Chambers of Commerce Annual Business Address event, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, said: “The Scottish Chambers represent more than 12,000 companies across the country. I value what they do to help businesses to promote Scotland overseas and to act as a critical friend and partner to government.

“Businesses that export are also likely to become more productive. They become more ambitious, embrace new ideas and often have to adopt new ways of working. This new funding will provide vital business-to-business support to companies through the Scottish Chambers of Commerce Network.

“That is one reason why one of our priorities – throughout the 30 months since the Brexit vote – has been to make clear that Scotland remains an open, internationalist, welcoming country.

“Encouraging companies to look to overseas markets is a vital part of our approach. It improves our balance of payments, increases employment, and raises our productivity.”

Tim Allan, President, Scottish Chambers of Commerce, said: “The Scottish Chambers of Commerce Network plays a central role in Scotland in driving business growth in all of our communities and this investment will enable more small and medium-sized businesses to grasp the trade opportunities that we know are out there.

“Over the last 18 months, through our Scottish and international network, we have galvanised the expertise and connectivity of the business community, successfully tapping into the wide-reaching business to business relationships which exist across the globe.

“This truly unique Scottish model has reimagined how we tackle the big challenges facing our economy. We look forward to continuing our partnership with the Scottish Government and working with the wider business community under this shared ambition to grow Scotland’s economy.”