Letter: Technology link to export goal

FURTHER to the article "Dire exports pose threat to recovery" by Nathalie Thomas (6 June), I thought it worth highlighting that ScotlandIS, the trade body for Scotland's ICT industry, shares the view that exports are vital to the success of our economy long term.

A number of our member companies, large and small, are already exporting very successfully. We see an increasing number of technology companies venturing into international markets, and this is borne out by the results from our annual survey (http://bit.ly/9UIC5b).

Technology companies are also using this experience to help their clients tap into new overseas markets. From developing web-based product demonstrations, underpinning initial sales development with online conferencing facilities, through to international ecommerce websites, the technology sector can provide businesses in all areas with the tools to compete successfully in global markets. Thus, with some relatively inexpensive technology support, the export market can be exploited by all sectors.

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However, we are not in any way complacent. The new Scottish ICT strategy underlines the internationalisation opportunities for software and IT businesses. We need to encourage and support companies in all sectors to develop the skills and market understanding that will enable them to build serious export sales, thereby contributing to the overall health of our economy.

Polly Purvis, executive director, Scotland IS