Scottish Chambers of Commerce have been put centre-stage of a £400,000 new international business development plan by the SNP Government to boost exports. The SNP Government will create a new Scottish Board of Trade, a 150-year old business brand abolished by the UK Government, and double the number of EU based Scottish civil servants.
With this new support from the SNP Government, both the national body - as well as local chambers of commerce - will provide an enhanced international role in promoting Scottish energy exports; for instance, oil and gas from Grampian chamber, and life sciences and aerospace from Ayrshire. New ‘hubs’ in Brussels, Berlin, Dublin and London will ‘boost Scotland’s business profile.’
Speaking at the Scottish Chambers of Commerce annual address in Glasgow, Nicola Sturgeon said:
“The SNP Government will provide £400,000 to the Chambers to support new business-led trade missions and forge new trading alliances between Chambers here and abroad. That is a boost to the resource already committed by the Chamber network and will contribute to our shared efforts to boost internationalisation.
“Internationalisation is a key part of our economic strategy and we are stepping up efforts to raise Scotland’s profile and encourage more Scottish businesses to export. Scotland’s ability to benefit from international trade depends hugely on our continued place in the European single market - the biggest of its kind in the world - and we are exploring all avenues to maintain our membership of it. Scottish Chambers of Commerce have more than 11,000 companies as members, with ties to more than 180 countries and so are ideally placed to make new overseas links with businesses and Chambers, which will complement the activities of Scottish Development International.”
Ms Sturgeon also announced that Nora Senior, Chairman of Scottish Chambers of Commerce, has been appointed as one of the first members of the Scottish Government’s new Board of Trade, which aims to encourage new companies to internationalise.
A spokesman for Scottish Chambers of Commerce commented:
“This marks a significant new step in our long-standing drive to use the power of the international Chambers network to drive more exports from Scotland. We are now ready to turbocharge that effort. It has long been our belief that exploiting grass roots business-to-business international connectivity via the unparalleled reach of international Chambers of Commerce has the potential to deliver a revolution in the way our SMEs trade overseas.
“This will put our network in a position to have real measurable impact in boosting Scotland’s exports – resulting in jobs, growth and wealth.”