IoD speech

Economy Secretary to visit Abu Dhabi.

Scotland can thrive in a highly competitive global market across a range of sectors and industries, Economy Secretary Keith Brown will tell the IoD Scotland annual conference today.

However, Mr Brown will also set out the Scottish Government’s view that the continued relationship with Europe and access to the single market is crucial for delivering continued economic success.

Mr Brown will also confirm that he will attend ADIPEC in Abu Dhabi next week, one of the world’s largest oil and gas events to help promote Scottish business secure new opportunities.

Mr Brown will say:

“The Scottish Government will continue to do all we can to help ensure Scottish business can compete strongly in local, national and global markets.  All sectors and regions in Scotland have the potential to thrive, but we are clear that maintaining our relationship with Europe and access to the single market is crucial to future success, and a top priority for this Government. 

“In the meantime, I am determined to support Scottish companies as they do business across international markets. After the EU vote, our efforts to boost trade are more crucial than ever.

“For example, next week I will attend ADIPEC in Abu Dhabi, one of the world’s largest oil and gas events.  Eighty Scottish companies will be present at the event - ranging from multi-nationals to SME’s with the majority exhibiting within a strongly branded Scottish pavilion.

“I strongly believe that the North Sea oil and gas sector can have a bright future and continue its important contribution to the Scottish economy for years to come. Expansion into new international markets is an area where companies can see continued growth, even during periods of downturn.

“With the UAE being the sixth largest petroleum producer in the world and strong indications that it will continue to enhance oil production over the coming years, this is the right time for the Scottish Government to be highly visible, helping our companies maximise immediate and longer term opportunities from the region and across the world.”

Mr Brown will also meet trade officials from the UK ambassadors to UAE office, where he will discuss opportunities for trade and investment between Scotland and UAE, along with meeting specific companies.   Mr Brown also stressed that the Scottish Government is firmly committed to acting as a good global citizen and stands against human rights abuses wherever they exist.


Key facts:

  • Scottish exports to Middle East, excluding oil and gas, were estimated to be worth £1.735 billion in 2014.
  • Of these approximately one third (£670m) were to the UAE in 2014 (£45m increase on 2013) and SDI assisted 219 Scottish companies to market in financial year 2014/15
  • Within the oil and gas sector, Scotland exported £1.01bn to the Middle East of which just under half (£0.48bn) went to the UAE in 2014.
  • Scotland’s 10th largest export market in 2014 (an increase from 13th in 2013).

Mr Brown will be in Abu Dhabi 6-7 November


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