Ambitious Scots business leaders set to head Stateside in first in-person trade missions since pandemic

A selection of ambitious business-leaders will travel to the US this year for what are being billed as the first in-person trade missions from Scotland since the pandemic began.

Around 25 Scottish small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are expected to join International Trade Partnership (ITP) missions to Miami in March and New York in April – led by Inverclyde Chamber of Commerce and Forth Valley Chamber of Commerce – aimed at forging new trade links in key markets including tech, sport and leisure, food and drink, and the creative industries.

It marks the first time two Scottish Chambers of Commerce have collaborated on trade missions to the USA , and follows more than 20 firms have already this year benefited from virtual trade missions to Colombia and Italy.

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International trade consultant Diana Peralta and Heather MacLaurin of Inverclyde Chamber of Commerce launch the trade missions in Greenock. Picture: James Chapelard.

The forthcoming US trade missions have a series of networking events and meetings in the pipeline, as well as involvement in the return of Tartan Day in New York in April.

One business already established in Miami is Edinburgh-based financial-services giant Abrdn, which says it views the region as an important financial market opening up domestic and overseas opportunities in key areas including Latin America.

Menno de Vreeze, head of business development international wealth management Americas at Abrdn, said: “For Scottish financial businesses, Florida offers access to a vast set of opportunities, which include the US domestic wealth market, with a large increase of wealth and high-net-worth individuals, companies moving to Florida and international clients booking their assets in Florida for diversification benefits.”

Additionally, Euan Cameron, founder of Willo, a Glasgow-founded video interview platform, is planning to join the trade mission, saying Scottish businesses “can unlock a market of forward-thinking, highly tech-savvy decision-makers”.

Lynn Blaikie, president of FVCC, said: “The USA is known as a land of opportunity, but you need to know where to start, and that’s what we want Scottish businesses to get from this exciting ITP trade mission to Miami and New York City.”

Diana Peralta, of DP Global, which helps facilitate the ITP trade missions, said it helps firms meet at least two qualified leads in the relevant market, for example. “We do the background work to ensure they’re suitable, and interested in your product/service in advance.”

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