Scotland: a trading nation

A plan for growing Scotland's exports.

1.6 Role of government

Exporting is more complicated than selling to a customer in the same country. Often the exporter has to find information about the buyer, the laws, regulations, customs and business practices of the country that they want to sell to. This can be time consuming and expensive. Most exports happen without government support. Nonetheless, government agencies, such as Scottish Development International, can help exporters obtain the information they need, introduce them to prospective customers and provide valuable advice on how to succeed in overseas markets. 

The type of support offered by government agencies (and our partners) will be different depending on how experienced the exporter is and what country they want to export to. New exporters often need advice about the process of exporting and how to better plan in order to find customers. For experienced exporters, they tend to need less information about the exporting process but more information on new markets, contacts and opportunities.

Government agencies provide a wide range of services and advice to exporters both in Scotland and in overseas markets. Measures in Scotland are focused on increasing awareness of export opportunities and to raise the level of ambition across the business base and to improve export performance as well as services and support to ensure that businesses have the capacity and capability to capitalise on the opportunities identified in the plan. These measures are complemented by actions in-market to ensure that the right support is available to enable Scottish based businesses to exploit these opportunities.

Support to businesses comes from a range of other sources, including banks, lawyers, accountants, local authorities, Business Gateway, the enterprise agencies, Scottish Development International, the Department of International Trade and business organisations such as Chambers of Commerce, CBI, SCDI and the IOD. It is the role of Scottish Government to ensure that the system as a whole supports the range of businesses that are exporting with appropriate interventions that facilitate the growth of exports and that the balance of effort for these interventions is placed where they will provide the most economic benefit to the Scottish economy.

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