SCOTTISH Development International (SDI), which promotes overseas trade, is opening seven more offices, including its first in Africa and Brazil.
It hopes to exploit what it sees as huge opportunities for companies to tap into these high-growth markets.
The investment over the next 12 months, which will also see additional offices in locations such as Canada, China and India, will see the organisation’s overseas workforce increase by around 25 per cent to 125.
Scottish Enterprise chief executive Lena Wilson said the move – the biggest wave of investment since SDI expanded in China eight years ago – was a “big effort to really back those Scottish companies which want to internationalise” and to attract foreign investment into Scotland.
“We have very ambitious targets to increase Scottish exports by 50 per cent by 2017 and we know companies in Scotland’s key sectors need a lot of help and support in developing new market overseas,” she said.
Wilson said that SDI had a proven track record in delivering results on the back of increasing its presence in high-growth locations. “In Asia for example we have seen 20 per cent year on year growth and so we know our approach works.”
The network across Asia will also benefit from much of the latest expansion as SDI looks to capitalise on opportunities in sectors such as food and drink, business services, technology and life sciences.
Elsewhere, countries with significant potential for oil and gas firms are also a major focus, with an office in Norway, a second Canadian base in Calgary and an office in west Africa being planned.
The decision to open in Brazil, seen as attractive for food and drink exporters due to a burgeoning middle class, came after Wilson visited the country last year.
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