Latest publication

Publication icon

Scotland's Global Connections 2013


Published 26th January 2015


A full PDF version of the publication is available here:

Download pdf version

The tables contained in the publication in excel format are available here:

Download Excel tables


Next publication January 2016

Scottish Export Statistics - Global Connections Survey



Estimating Exports from Scotland

26th January 2015


This Statistical Bulletin presents the results of Scotland Global Connection Survey (SGCS) for 2013, the only export survey covering all sectors of the Scottish economy.  This is the twelfth year of publication.  Figures are presented in nominal terms and so are not adjusted for inflation.

Companies provided export information relating to 2013.  International exports are shown by Industry and destination from 2010 onward.  Information from 2002 is provided in the accompanying excel tables

The industry defintion relates to the Standard Industrial Classification of the reporting company.  Rest of UK exports and total exports (combining international and rest of UK) are included in this publication.


Key findings

  • Scottish international exports in 2013 (excluding oil and gas) are provisionally estimated at £27.9 billion, an increase of £1.9 billion (7.2%) since 2012.


  • £16.8 billion (60.2%) of all International exports are attributable to manufacturing sector companies, an increase of £1.3 billion (8.2%) over the year.  £9.2 billion (33.1%) are attributable to the service sector, an increase of £590 million (6.8%) over the year.


  • The two largest exporting industries in 2013, as in previous years, were manufacture of food & beverages (£5 billion, 18% of all exports) and manufacture of coke, refined petroleum and chemical products (£3.5 billion, 12.6% of all exports).


  • These 2 sectors are followed by legal, accounting, management, architecture, engineering, technical testing and analysis (£1.9 billion), manufacture of machinery and equipment (£1.7 billion) and manufacture of computer, electronic & optical (£1.6 billion).


  • Together the top 5 industry sectors account for around 49 per cent of total international exports from Scotland.


  • The USA is Scotland’s top international export destination country (as in the last 11 years) with an estimated £3.9 billion exports, an increase of £185 million (5%) since 2012.  Netherlands was the second top export destination country, with exports of £2.0 billion, increasing by £55 million (3%).  Germany is Scotland’s third top export destination, estimated to be worth £1.9 billion, increasing by £195 million (11%) since 2012.  The Netherlands and Belgium are consistently reported in Scotland’s top trading partners, however as these countries contain key ports many of these goods are for onward supply to other countries.


  • The top five international export markets (USA, Netherlands, Germany, France, and Denmark) accounted for £11.2 billion of international exports (40 per cent of all international exports) from Scotland.


  • Just under half of international exports are destined for countries within the European Union (estimated at £12.9 billion, 46%).  Within the EU, the Netherlands was the largest market, followed next by Germany and followed by France (£1.8 billion exports in 2013).


  • Exports to the rest of UK (from Scotland) in 2013 (excluding oil and gas) are provisionally estimated at £46.2 billion, an increase of £1.2 billion (2.7%) over the year.


  • Service sector exports are of greater importance to the rest of UK than Internationally.  26.2% (£12.1 billion) of rUK exports are attributable to manufacturing sector companies and 51.4% (£23.7 billion) are attributable to service sector companies.  This compares to 60.2% for manufacturing and 33.1% for service for International exports.


  • Total international and rest of UK exports in 2013 (excluding oil and gas) are provisionally estimated at £74.1 billion.  Rest of UK exports account for 62% of all exports from Scotland (International and rUK combined).

The Global Connections Survey was carried out by the Scottish Government with support from Scottish Development International.  Results are based on data received from around 1,900 companies, supplemented with previous years’ surveys and information obtained from other sources.


Full publication

The full publication in PDF format and excel table is available at the top of this page


Next Publication

The results of GCS 2014 will be published in January 2016.



Has your business received a 2014 Global Connections Survey Form?







If you have a question or require assistance or advice to complete your form we are more than happy to assist you.


Telephone 0300 244 1320




The Scottish Government would like to extend its thanks to all of the companies that have taken the time to respond to the survey and to all those who have been involved in the survey for their help and advice, and in particular Scottish Development International who part fund the survey.  All responses to this survey are valuable and ensure the overall quality of our publications and findings