Global Connections Survey: guidance

Guidance for businesses on how to complete the Global Connections Survey.

This document is part of a collection

Help us develop policies to grow Scotland’s international trade

Dear Contact,

I am writing to invite you to participate in the Scottish Government’s Global Connections Survey (GCS). The GCS is the only official trade survey of Scottish businesses, and it helps us to understand the trading patterns of Scottish businesses, so through your input your information can contribute to future Scottish trade policy decisions.

We appreciate that the past few years have been incredibly challenging for businesses due to the ongoing impact of the Coronavirus pandemic and other changes as a result of EU exit. We have therefore decided to run GCS 2020 and GCS 2021 simultaneously, which means we are asking you to provide responses for both 2020 and 2021 now. We understand this is more work at the moment, but means you will not be asked to participate twice in a short period of time.

The data will also help us understand the impacts of the pandemic and EU exit on trade patterns and future trade policy analysis. Ultimately, this data continues to help us identify opportunities to develop policies to help Scottish businesses export goods and services to more markets.

You can access the survey by typing the following address (including the ‘https’ part) into your web browser:

You will be asked to enter your username and password, which are below.

Username: XXXX

Password: XXXX

Please note that the username and password are case sensitive, so take care when entering these, and make sure there are no spaces at the beginning or end.

After logging into the system, you will see two separate links to the Global Connections 2020 and Global Connections 2021 data collections. You should use the edit button to start completing each survey.

You do not need to complete the surveys in one go, as you can save what you have entered using the ‘save’ option and go back to it later using the log-in details above.

Once completed, you should click both the ‘save and submit’ button at the bottom of the page, and the big blue ‘save and submit’ button that appears at the top of the page. We suggest you complete the Global Connections Survey 2020 first, as some of your responses will be automatically copied into the 2021 survey, reducing the work required to complete these.

Your response is appreciated by Friday 2nd September 2022. If you require an extension to this deadline please contact us. If you have any issues accessing the survey, need the survey in a different format, or require help to complete it, please refer to the further information below or contact the Trade Statistics team by emailing or by calling 0300 244 0330.

Yours faithfully,

Gary Gillespie

Chief Economist

The Global Connections Survey - Further Information

Completing the survey

The best person to complete these surveys is likely to be the Finance Director or Financial Controller at your organisation; if this is not you, please pass this on to the most appropriate individual. Guidance notes and further information is available.

Other ways to complete the survey

We also offer the option of completing the surveys using forms in Excel, which can then be emailed to Further information on this is available.


Uses for this information

The analysis from the information you provided last year is included in the National Statistics publication, Export Statistics Scotland and is also used to monitor the National Indicator on ‘International Exporting’. This data also supported the Scottish Government’s export growth plan, A Trading Nation. Continuing to collect this survey data will allow us to update the analysis, monitor the actions from this and continue to inform Scotland’s international trade policy.

All the information you provide will be kept strictly confidential by the Scottish Government and the partner organisations with whom we may share your responses (Scottish Development International, Scottish Enterprise, Highlands and Islands Enterprise and the Office for National Statistics). Specific company details and any data where it may be possible to identify an individual company will not be published.

Contact details

For further queries, email or leave us a message on 0300 244 0330 and we will get back to you as soon as possible.


If you have any queries relating to the survey or need any further support, please email us at or phone us on 0300 244 0330.

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