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19/11/17 00:01

Export boost for businesses

Scheme will help increase oversees trading.

More Scottish businesses will have the opportunity and support to trade abroad, thanks to a new initiative.

Five pilot Local Export Partnerships (LEPs) are being launched by the Scottish Government and Chambers of Commerce to increase the number of firms exporting their products and services.

The partnerships – in Cairngorms; Inverness/Highlands and Islands; Dumfries and Galloway/Scottish Borders; Edinburgh/Lothian and Glasgow/Lanarkshire – will bring together Scottish Development International, local authorities and a range of local support organisations. They will offer support and expertise to companies, particularly SMEs, with little or no previous exporting experience and help them enter international markets.  

The Scottish Government is providing up to £400,000 to the Scottish Chambers of Commerce to develop the pilot programme.

Economy Secretary Keith Brown said:

“With Brexit looming, international trade and export has never been so vital to the Scottish economy, but it can seem daunting to businesses who haven’t yet ventured into the field.

“It is crucial that we maximise the help and support available to those firms – particularly the SMEs which are the lifeblood of our economy.

“These pilots will test new approaches to support businesses to export, opening a whole new world to companies and employers throughout Scotland.”

As outlined in the Scottish Government’s Trade and Investment Strategy, the partnership will use a collaborative, One Scotland approach. It will bring together individuals, businesses and agencies to promote an international business awareness and mindset, collaboration around shared trade objectives and mutual learning and support.”

Liz Cameron OBE, Director and Chief Executive of Scottish Chambers of Commerce, said:

“On behalf of the Scottish Chambers Network, we are delighted to have the opportunity to work closely with The Scottish Government and its agencies in this exciting new Local Enterprise Partnership initiative.

“These new LEPs will build on the strong partnerships we have recently forged with government in the field of international trade, which has already resulted in promising new routes to accessing important markets for Scottish goods and services, notably China.

“The combination of the Chambers’ network at grass roots and the experience and in-market expertise within government and its agencies is a powerful one. This LEP initiative allows us to show what can be achieved for exporters with a Team Scotland approach.”

Note for Editors

  1.  The commitment to establish the local/regional export partnership pilots was contained in the Trade & Investment Strategy, published in March 2016. This was restated in the current Programme for Government.
  2. The duration of the pilot phase is expected to be 2 years
  3. Scottish Chambers of Commerce – www.scottishchambers.org.uk