Scottish exports continue to grow

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Scottish manufactured exports grew in the early part of 2010, statistics published today show.

Commenting on the Index of Manufactured Exports for the First Quarter of this year, which show growth of 0.2 per cent, Enterprise Minister Jim Mather said:


Scottish manufactured exports grew in the early part of 2010, statistics published today show.

Commenting on the Index of Manufactured Exports for the First Quarter of this year, which show growth of 0.2 per cent, Enterprise Minister Jim Mather said:

“It is encouraging that today’s figures show we have now had three consecutive quarters of growth in Scottish manufactured exports.

“That comes on the back of separately compiled UK figures from earlier this month that showed the value of Scottish exports of all goods rose by 3.5 per cent over the year to March. At the same time, the HMRC figures showed the value of exports for the UK as a whole fell by 5.3 per cent.

“Both these sets of figures highlight the real success Scottish companies are enjoying in global markets and is a tribute to the hard work, determination and innovation in Scotland’s business community.

“On our part, the Scottish Government is focusing on delivering practical help for our exporters to sustain this success – in particular through our economic recovery plan.

“For example, Scottish Development International is investing more resources to help around 12,000 firms across Scotland to internationalise. The 7.6 million pounds Smart Exporter project – delivered jointly by Scottish Council for Development and Industry, Scottish Chambers International and Scottish Development International – is providing vital new support for Scottish companies seeking to trade globally.

“And the expansion of the Scottish Manufacturing Advisory Service (SMAS) has doubled the number of companies this vital service can reach, helping our exporters remain competitive across the world.

“But the fact that growth is not as strong as the last quarter indicates there can be no room for complacency or let up in the support we provide.

“That is why the UK Government are wrong to push ahead with cuts that are too deep and too quick and threaten economic recovery, just as the previous administration were wrong to withdraw stimulus measures that the Scottish Government had been able to utilise to help our return to growth.

“That just emphasises that we need the full powers of real financial responsibility so that we can do even more to grow the Scottish economy and boost revenues, putting Scotland on the right path to long term economic success.”

UK stats referred to are UK Regional Statistics, which is a quarterly National Statistics publication produced by HMRC. It provides statistics of international trade in goods for the nine Government Office Regions in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. Regional UK Trade in Goods Statistics provide this valuable information, and also act as a source of market intelligence for the commercial and academic sectors.

The UK and Scottish data both show growth in exports, although the actual figures differ. This reflects the fact that the HMRC and Scottish Government compile their figures in different ways. For example, HMRC figures only take into account companies which have a VAT registration in Scotland. Also, HMRC figures are based on the value of exports of goods, whereas the Scottish Government figures are based on the volume or amount of exports from manufacturing companies.

Following a successful application to the European Structural Fund (ESF), SDI, SCDI and Scottish Chambers International (SCI) have been granted funding to allow the delivery of additional export training to SME’s across Scotland. This initiative, called Smart Exporter, is also supported by Business Gateway. This initiative is an innovative collaboration between the private and public sector, which has a shared objective of working together to help grow the Scottish economy through business growth. As such, the programme will be managed, developed, marketed and delivered jointly by SDI, SCDI and SCI, taking best advantage of the skills and resources of these organisations.

The total programme value is £7.6 million over three years. This incorporates funding of £2.2 million from SDI and £2 million from SCI, leveraging new ESF grant support of £3.4 million to allow additional services to be provided for Scottish businesses.