Scottish SMEs lagging in overseas trade stakes

Just 43% of Scottish SMEs have sold their goods or services overseas. Picture:: Andrew Matthews/PA Wire
Just 43% of Scottish SMEs have sold their goods or services overseas. Picture:: Andrew Matthews/PA Wire
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Small and medium-sized firms in Scotland lag behind their UK counterparts when it comes to doing business overseas, but of those who do trade internationally, more than three-quarters say it makes them more profitable.

Just 43 per cent of SMEs north of the Border have sold their goods or services abroad, compared to the UK average of 60 per cent and London at 76 per cent.

On average, 71 per cent of UK firms have done business in western Europe, but that falls to just 19 per cent in Scotland.

READ MORE: Scotland’s international exports value drops by £920m

The figures, compiled by YouGov on behalf of new payment platform TransferWise for Business, suggest that Scottish SMEs are missing out on the financial rewards that come with overseas trade.

Of those UK businesses that sell into, buy materials from or hire freelancers from abroad, 76 per cent said it makes them more profitable. The majority of Scots firms that trade abroad – 74 per cent – do so to access new customers.