Support for Scottish businesses abroad

First Minister outlines government backing to increase exports.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon will tonight set out to the business community steps to help companies increase exports and their overseas activity. 

In the Programme for Government published this week, it was announced that a network of Trade Envoys will be appointed in the autumn to champion and represent Scotland’s export interests, and strengthen local market knowledge. 

They will be tasked with identifying specific business opportunities in new overseas markets, making appropriate connections with businesses in Scotland, and developing their understanding of the target sectors and companies in those countries.

Following the success of the London and Dublin Innovation and Investment Hubs, recruitment is now underway for the Head of the new Hub in Berlin.  Once up and running, the Hub will help ambitious Scottish companies take advantage of business opportunities in Berlin and across Europe.

The First Minister also announced in her Programme for Government a new Hub in Paris will open to maximise opportunities for Scotland in France, our third largest overseas market.

As part of this broader drive to increase Scottish exports and inward investment, the Scottish Government, VisitScotland, Scottish Enterprise and other partners will develop an international marketing campaign to ensure Scotland is viewed globally as a country to visit, live, work, study and invest in.

Addressing both CBI Scotland and Business for Scotland’s annual dinners, she will say:

“This Government is ambitious for Scotland’s economy, and we are optimistic about Scotland’s ability to meet the challenges of the future.

“Encouraging exports isn’t simply a good thing to do in itself, it’s also important to our shared aim of raising productivity.  We want to ensure that Scotland remains an open, outward looking, internationalist country. Part of that is about doing even more to promote Scottish businesses overseas.

“We are appointing a network of trade envoys to champion Scottish exports. We are also increasing Scottish Development International’s representation in Europe.

“In the last year, we have set up innovation and investment hubs in Dublin and London. We are now establishing further hubs in Paris and Berlin, and will also strengthen our existing presence in Brussels. It’s a further way of helping Scottish companies to increase exports and explore new markets.”


The Berlin Hub will promote the development of partnerships between Scotland and Germany, developing diplomatic relationships at Federal and Land Government level and overseeing the development of trade and investment links, and cultural and academic ties.

Trade Envoys are senior industry and public figures who may be based in overseas markets for specific opportunity sectors, or leading inward and outward trade visits. They will be voluntary, unremunerated roles and will be initially appointed for 2 year terms.


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