Increasing trade with China

150% rise in food and drink exports in a decade.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has hailed the “astonishing” growth in Scotland’s food and drink exports to China – and said that strengthening international trade links are key to promoting inclusive economic growth, social justice and human rights around the world.

Exports of food and drink to China have increased by more than 150% in the last 10 years, highlighting China’s growing importance as a market for Scottish goods

Scotch whisky exports accounted for the majority, worth some £61 million - up 45% compared to 2007.

Fish and seafood continues to be the primary food export to China, valued at about £50 million  in 2017 – up more than 12-fold compared to the value in 2007. China currently ranks ninth in Scotland’s top ten food export markets. 

A range of Scottish industries and activities are experiencing growing interest from the Chinese market, and promoting these will be a key objective of the First Minister’s first official visit to China in three years, which begins today (Sunday).

The First Minister begins her visit in Beijing before visiting Shanghai and Hong Kong later this week. She will carry out a series of high-level government and business meetings, alongside cultural and educational engagements.

The First Minister said:

“The astonishing growth in Scottish food and drink exports to China in recent years is testament not only to the high quality of our food and drink produce, but also a stark reminder of the huge opportunities open to us in the Chinese market.

“Of course, food and drink is not the only sector that has been experiencing growing trade – total goods exports to China across the whole of the Scottish economy increased by more than 40% last year.

“My visit this week is an opportunity to further promote the best of Scotland in the world’s second-largest economy. It will also help to deepen the long-standing cultural, education and tourism links that exist between Scotland and China.

“There is no doubt that, for a country of 5 million people, Scotland punches well above its weight in terms of international brand recognition and cultural influence.

“Making the most of these strengths is absolutely key to our future prosperity – but it can have much wider benefits as well. The more we can strengthen our overseas links and deepen our relationships, the more opportunity we have to promote our values of social justice and human rights around the world.”


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