Scottish exports ‘rocket’ by £1.6 billion

SCOTLAND’S worldwide exports have “rocketed”, Alex Salmond said today as figures showed a £1.6 billion rise in the value of goods sold overseas.

The First Minister was today visiting an Edinburgh-based firm which provides components for fast-growing space industry, including US space agency NASA. The latest Global Connections survey showed that Scottish exports reached £23.9 billion last year.

Despite a global slowdown Scottish exporters have seen a higher rate of growth in exports than in 2010.

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Mr Salmond said: “Strengthening Scotland’s economic links to other countries is a priority of this Government and this latest survey demonstrates that our drive and work to seize overseas exports is really taking off – our exports have literally rocketed.

“There are exciting opportunities to seize in emerging economies in Asia, South America, the Middle East, Africa and Eastern Europe and also in the traditional export markets such as US and Europe.

“Improving our access and dialogue with international growth markets will open up Scottish exports to new customers and build on Scotland’s attractiveness as a place for international trade and investment.”

Mr Salmond today visited MESL Microwave, an Edinburgh-based microwave and electronics firm which has become a major player in the emergng space market. It has exported products to NASA for components used in monitoring the world’s oceans from space, along with equipment for the international space statiion and satellites.

There has been an estimated seven per cent increase in manufacturing and service sector exports since 2010, according to the survey. In particular Scottish exports to the EU increased by 14.7 per cent, and exports to Asia have grown by 8.7 per cent.