First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has announced plans to open more overseas Scottish business hubs to help companies boost their activity abroad and increase exports.
As well as new hubs in Berlin and Paris being added to those already in London and Dublin, the SNP Government’s Programme for Government published this week, also revealed that a network of Trade Envoys will be appointed this autumn to champion and represent Scotland’s export interests and strengthen local market knowledge.
They will be tasked with identifying specific business opportunities in new overseas markets, making appropriate connections with businesses in Scotland, and developing their understanding of the target sectors and companies in those countries.
Following the success of the London and Dublin Innovation and Investment Hubs, the Berlin hub will help ambitious Scottish companies take advantage of business opportunities in Germany and across Europe.
The First Minister also announced a new Paris Hub will open to maximise opportunities for Scotland in France, Scotland’s third largest overseas market.
As part of this broader drive to increase Scottish exports and inward investment, the SNP Government will work with VisitScotland, Scottish Enterprise and other partners to develop an international marketing campaign to ensure Scotland is viewed globally as a country to visit, live, work, study and invest in.
Addressing both CBI Scotland and Business for Scotland, the First Minster said:
“This SNP Government is ambitious for our economy and we are optimistic about Scotland’s ability to meet the challenges of the future.
“Encouraging exports isn’t simply a good thing to do in itself, it’s also important to our shared aim of raising productivity. We want to ensure that Scotland remains an open, outward looking, internationalist country. Part of that is about doing even more to promote Scottish businesses overseas.
“We are appointing a network of trade envoys to champion Scottish exports. We are also increasing Scottish Development International’s representation in Europe.
“In the last year, we have set up innovation and investment hubs in Dublin and London. We are now establishing further hubs in Paris and Berlin and will also strengthen our existing presence in Brussels. It’s a further way to help Scottish companies increase exports and explore new markets.”