Scotland: a trading nation

A plan for growing Scotland's exports.

8.5 Sub-sector economic impact analysis

It is important to understand how the economic or GDP impact of increasing exports varies between different sectors and sub-sectors. The final value of a good or services aggregates the cumulative steps within the production process, i.e. the value chain. In some sectors, Scotland has deep indigenous supply chains and inherent natural or human resource advantages and most of the economic value will be added in Scotland. In other sectors, characterised by complex global supply chains where Scotland is only one link in the chain, the proportion of value added by Scottish businesses will be smaller. The latter will typically generate a lower return in terms of the contribution to overall GDP and tax revenues for a given level of exports. However, it may be that businesses in these sectors and sub-sectors are important in providing high wage, high productivity jobs. Moreover, if the scale of their production is higher, the overall value added may be at least as high if not higher. We will work to better understand these characteristics in more detail to further inform our sub-sector strategies to maximise positive impacts on the Scottish economy and to use the levers at our disposal to promote the development of indigenous supply chains. 

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