SDI focuses on emerging markets for Scots exports boost

SDI is targeting export markets across China, India and the Middle East. Picture: Eugene Hoshiko/AP
SDI is targeting export markets across China, India and the Middle East. Picture: Eugene Hoshiko/AP
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The government agency charged with boosting Scottish exports is promising a number of new initiatives in the face of the UK’s impending exit from the European Union, including a strengthening of its unit devoted to emerging markets such as China, India and the Middle East.

Scottish Development International (SDI), the global arm of the country’s enterprise agencies, revealed its intentions as it released figures on the impact of its most recent work to date. These showed projected international sales of £1.7 billion during the next three to five years from 366 export projects supported by SDI.

Managing director Paul Lewis said the results were encouraging but there remain “too few exporters concentrated in too few sectors and focused on too few markets”. The agency is therefore looking to build further on the country’s newly-launched trade and investment strategy covering the five years up to 2021.

READ MORE: Scotch exports rise as boost from weak pound looms

“We are looking to develop this approach further through a number of initiatives, such as increasing the impact of our international networks like GlobalScots,” Lewis said.

“We are also helping businesses tap into new markets more effectively and strengthening our high growth markets unit, with its focus on markets such as China, India and the Middle East.”

SDI is looking to build on the strengths of Scotland’s premium consumer products in key sectors such as food and drink, tourism, textiles and education. During the past year, it worked with 2,600 companies on their international expansion plans, half of whom were looking at foreign markets for the first time. From that group, 140 new and active Scottish exporters have emerged.

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