Strategy for international engagement

Publication outlining ambitious international objectives.

A new strategy has been published to help strengthen ties with key partners, increase economic opportunities and build on networks for both Scotland’s and international partners’ benefit.

The International Strategy sets out the outcomes the Scottish Government seeks to achieve through international engagement up to May 2026.

It focuses on three main themes:

  • economy, trade and investment;
  • climate change, biodiversity and renewable energy; and
  • relationships, influence and reputation.

The Strategy builds on the Government’s Global Affairs Framework and the recently published Feminist Approach to International Relations.

External Affairs Secretary Angus Robertson said:

“Since the beginning of devolution, all Scottish governments have been active on the international stage and this Government has a successful record of delivering internationally. Over the next three years, with support from our enterprise agencies, companies across Scotland will see £1.73 billion of planned international sales.

“In the long run, the UK’s potential productivity is predicted to be 4% lower due to Brexit. It is more important than ever that we pursue our ambitions to create a more successful and inclusive country, with opportunities for all of Scotland to flourish and to make a positive contribution internationally while strengthening Scotland’s international profile. This includes taking a proactive role in engaging with European Union institutions and European partners on shared challenges and opportunities.

“Clearly with independence we would be able to deploy the full range of diplomatic options to promote and protect Scotland. But through our International Strategy we want to build on our strengths and seize global opportunities where we can.”


Scotland's International Strategy

Written question and answer: S6W-24759 | Scottish Parliament Website

The strategy is jointly owned by Cabinet Secretary for Constitution, External Affairs and Culture Angus Robertson and Cabinet Secretary for Wellbeing Economy, Fair Work and Energy Neil Gray.

Scotland's Global Affairs Framework

Scotland's Approach - Taking a feminist approach to international relations: position paper

  1. Economy, trade and investment
  • With support from enterprise agencies, companies across Scotland will see £1.73 billion of planned international sales over the next three years – a 20% increase compared to 2021-22.
  • 2022 was a record year for Scottish food and drink, with food exports worth £1.9 billion and exports of whisky alone worth £6.2 billion, demonstrating the excellence of Scottish products and the esteem in which they are held by the rest of the world.
  1. Climate change, biodiversity and renewable energy
  • Scotland has almost 19,000 km of coastline and a marine area seven times greater than our land mass. From tourism to the fishing industry, our marine areas and communities provide an immense contribution to our economy and society with an estimated £4.5 billion in gross value added from the marine economy (2021) and almost 70,000 jobs in the marine economy (2021).
  • So far, the Scottish Government has allocated £10 million from the Climate Justice Fund to help partner countries become more resilient to climate change.  
  1. Reputation, influence and relationships
  • Scotland’s reputation as a welcoming place to live and work, study, visit and do business is already strong. The 2022 Anholt-Ipsos Nation Brands Index ranked Scotland as a top-twenty country on five of its six dimensions of reputation (governance, culture, people, tourism, and immigration and investment).
  • In addition, there are an estimated 40 million people or more globally who consider themselves to be of Scottish heritage. Many more have lived, studied and worked here, and have first-hand experience of Scotland as a modern, progressive and dynamic nation.


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