Global Scotland: trade and investment strategy 2016-2021

Our eight-point action plan to increase trade and investment in Scotland.

Annex A: One Scotland Delivery Plan



Inspire businesses and raise their export ambition

  • Promote global market opportunities and the business benefits of trade and support businesses with advice and mentoring from existing exporters and trade specialists.
  • Use role models such as such as Global Scots to champion the benefits of exporting and recognise and celebrate export success through business awards.

Help businesses make connections with potential customers

  • Develop and deliver in partnership with others a rolling programme of targeted market awareness visits, trade missions/shows, and meet the buyer events and work with organisations such as SCDI, Chambers of Commerce, the Institute of Directors, Enterprise Europe Scotland, the China British Business Council, the Scottish North American Business Council and UKTI to coordinate and raise awareness of that programme, including development of a digital ‘one stop shop’ of trade events and missions.
  • Provide advice, information and support to businesses to pursue new and/or further opportunities from International Trade
  • Establish Innovation and Investment Hubs in London, Dublin and Brussels as a platform for businesses to meet potential buyers and to showcase their products and services.

Help businesses realise the export potential of existing products and services and/or create new products or services with such potential

  • Pilot work with a sector cohort of SE/ HIE account managed businesses to identify companies with products or services where there is a clear export market but they are not currently exporting - and provide customised information, advice and support to help them do so; or helping those businesses adapt their products and services to meet market need.
  • Ensure our innovation policies and our work with Scotland’s academic base and Innovation Centres enable businesses to start exporting or expand in to new markets.

Support businesses to address key financial barriers to exporting

  • Work with banks, UK Export Finance and specialist export finance providers to raise awareness of their services and improve take-up of relevant support.
  • Provide financial readiness advice to companies to help them understand and mitigate financial risks associated with exporting.



Enable businesses to realise opportunities in new markets such as China and India

  • Strengthen delivery of SDI’s High Growth Market Unit to help businesses enter and grow in new markets in China, India and the Middle East.
  • Pioneer a ‘Premium Scotland’ approach in China – focused on high value consumer products and services. This will provide new channels to market, with opportunities to use ecommerce, events, exhibitions and social media to showcase products and low-risk ways for companies to develop a Chinese presence and broker partnerships and distribution networks.
  • Work with UKTI to develop and deliver a joint approach to the massive Chinese internet retailer Alibaba.
  • Encourage and support businesses currently exporting to traditional markets such as the EU and U.S to expand in to new markets. In particular, we will pilot work with a cohort of SE/ HIE account managed companies to identify specific businesses already exporting to one market but where there is a similar export market elsewhere - and provide customised information, advice and support to help them move in to that market.
  • Support businesses to take advantage of the international supply chains of larger companies and explore how we can work with larger companies to help others access new markets.

Support a One Scotland approach to boosting exports

  • Provide seedcorn funding to private and public sector partners to establish or further develop Local or Regional Export Partnerships in 4-6 areas on a pilot basis The Partnerships will demonstrate how a collaborative, One Scotland approach can bring together individuals, businesses and agencies to promote an international business awareness and mindset; collaboration around shared trade objectives; and mutual learning and support.
  • Engaging with businesses and those who support and represent them and work through existing structures such as Industry Leadership Groups to develop detailed export plans for particular markets and sectors.



Attract new investors

  • Work through SDI and UKTI’s global network to promote Scotland’s strengths and specific sector and sub-sector propositions.
  • Use specialist business development resources to grow our project pipeline with a particular focus on new jobs from new investors, in areas such as software, big data and the creative and FinTech sub-sectors.
  • Simplify the incentives available to investors and improve their promotion and visibility.
  • Work with intermediary companies to attract potential investors and with new investors as they develop their European market entry strategies.
  • Develop and support the One Scotland ‘sales force’ so that partners across industry, the public sector and academia have the right information and support to communicate Scotland’s strengths and specific propositions; to identify and engage with potential new investors and opportunities; and to connect those leads and opportunities back to SDI.

Build Scotland as a centre for global innovation collaboration and investment

• Work with partners to scope out, develop and test how we might combine Scotland’s R&D and innovation strengths to create a global ‘problem solving’ centre for innovation which would attract new investors and new types of investment to Scotland.



Support existing investors to develop, grow and expand

  • Subject to EU State Aid rules, continue to provide support to existing investors seeking to attract investment to Scotland as part of a wider international business.
  • Work with key existing investors to put together propositions to attract further investment into Scotland.
  • Work with investors to meet their skill and talent needs, including working with Skills Development Scotland, colleges and universities and through continuing to press the UK Government for greater flexibility on visas where there are clear skill and talent gaps.
  • Extend SE/ HIE’s engagement with key investors to wider policy and operational issues - bringing in the Scottish Government and other agencies as part of a One Scotland approach to understanding and supporting individual and collective investor needs. This will include consideration of an Inward Investor Survey and a dedicated Inward Investment Forum to enable Ministerial and senior-level engagement with the Scottish Government, its enterprise agencies and, where relevant, partners such as Transport Scotland and SEPA across a broad spectrum of issues.
  • Strengthen supply chain linkages between investors and indigenous businesses – identifying and matching potential suppliers (or groups of suppliers) with investors and working with those suppliers to meet investor needs
Develop strong investment propositions to attract investment to projects of scale
  • Identify and bring forward a pipeline of strong, large scale investment propositions, including working with partners to ‘bundle-up’ smaller projects to bring scale to and balance risk across propositions.
  • Develop and maintain a single, digital investment prospectus/’pitch book’ of large scale, high quality projects, public and private, which can be customised to match the interests of specific investors.
  • Work collaboratively and provide advice, support and feedback to improve the market readiness and credibility of project propositions and share learning and experience.
  • Align the various public and private sector interests and responsibilities behind projects before propositions are put to potential investors; and consider what other steps we might take, through for example development briefs or masterplans, to make projects more investor ready.



Engage effectively and systematically with investors to attract investment to projects of scale

  • Research and analyse the priorities, interests and investments of specific investors and share that intelligence across partners.
  • Develop and deliver a One Scotland plan for investor engagement focused on both specific projects and the development of long term relationships with investors and a database to track enquiries from and engagement with potential investors. Engage with the international investment market directly to understand the specific requirements of their funds and directing this interest as appropriate.
  • Work with Global Scots and organisations such as the China British Business Council, the Regeneration Investment Organisation and UKTI to ensure they understand our investment propositions and can bring them to the attention of potential investors.
  • Improve the global visibility of Scotland’s investment propositions through digital activity and a One Scotland approach to promotional activity and investment events such as ‘ MIPIM’.

Enable businesses with high growth potential to access a wider range of international institutional risk capital investment

  • Build on the experience of the Scottish Investment Bank, to pro-actively engage with a range of international investors to raise the profile of investment opportunities in Scotland.
  • Provide support, advice and training to businesses to help them raise the standard and quality of their investment proposition and their ‘investment pitch’ from an international institutional investor’s perspective.
  • Identify target international institutional investors and intermediaries, by sector and geography, and matching companies seeking investment with them.
  • Develop new ways of engaging with potential investors in emerging and growth markets.
  • Bring together Scottish companies with high growth potential with international investors through participation in relevant investor events organised by others and, utilising the London Hub, through specific Scottish showcase events.


Email: Jamie McGarvey,

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