Export Statistics Scotland: methodology

Information about the methodology used to produce the estimates of Scotland's exports in the Export Statistics Scotland publication.

Global Connections Survey (GCS)

The Global Connections Survey (GCS) is a sample survey conducted by the Scottish Government. The GCS is sent to a representative sample of businesses with operations in Scotland. The GCS collects data about a business’s sales to customers in different locations. If a business sells goods or services to a customer not based in Scotland, this is counted as an export.  

The GCS is used to measure both international exports and exports to the rest of the UK. International exports are exports from Scottish businesses to overseas customers. Rest of the UK exports are exports from Scottish businesses to customers in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, as well as to oil and gas extraction companies operating in Scottish Adjacent Waters. The GCS is also used to measure EU exports, non-EU exports, and exports to individual countries.  

Instructions are provided to respondents about how they should report their exports, See the Global Connections Survey: guidance for more information.    

The GCS is only one of a number of data sources we use to produce the export values for Scotland. The other data sources are described more fully in the ESS Processing section.  


If you have any enquiries relating to these statistics then please contact the Trade Statistics team at:

Email: exports.statistics@gov.scot

Trade Statistics
5th Floor Atlantic Quay 5
150 Broomielaw
G2 8LU

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