Scotland's Vision for Trade: annual report - June 2023

Our second annual report on Scotland's Vision for Trade, outlining the range of specific actions that we have taken over the past year and our continued ambition to make trade-related decisions based on the principles of inclusive growth, wellbeing, sustainability, net zero and good governance.

1 Assessment of policy development outputs, using Scottish Government levers

1.1 Key highlights from the second year of implementation

This section sets out key highlights from the second year of implementation in using the levers available to the Scottish Government. These are the areas in which we were able to make the most tangible progress towards improving the trading environment for business, supporting improved wellbeing outcomes, increasing progress towards net zero and operating as a good global citizen.

This section also takes a wider look at the other action we prioritised in the second year across a range of trade issues facing our economy, people and planet.

1.1.1 Taking steps to improve the trading environment, while prioritising public interests

Complementing the ongoing delivery of A Trading Nation, Scotland’s export growth plan, the Vision identified ways in which we can improve the trading environment for businesses, while applying our core principles. This year, we made tangible progress on trade in services in particular.

The Vision highlighted the importance of sharing information and working with stakeholders in improving the trading environment for trade in services. This year, to put this into practice, we established the Scottish Services Trade Forum to advise the Scottish Government on trade in services. The membership and structure of the Forum was developed following a thorough review of existing groups and inputs from services stakeholders to avoid duplication. Along with regulators, trade bodies, enterprise agencies and academics, the forum brings together representatives of existing services sector Industry Leadership Groups.

The Forum provides an opportunity to obtain views on: opportunities and risks of UK trade deals under negotiation, barriers to trade for Scottish services exporters and ways to improve access to information on the terms of trade of existing trade deals.

Examples of ways the Forum has informed our services priorities include:

  • Informing priorities in relation to mutual recognition of professional qualifications and business visitor mobility rules.
  • Shaping future work on improving access to information for businesses on the terms of trade, particularly the added value that can be provided by the Scottish Government.

1.1.2 Supporting improved wellbeing outcomes from trade

The Vision recognised that there are winners and losers from trade shocks, trends and policy, and identified actions that the Scottish Government could take to improve our understanding of these differential impacts and develop options to address them.

This year, we advanced work to build our evidence base. To do this, we engaged with the Office of the US Trade Representative (USTR), New Zealand’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade and Global Affairs Canada. This provided helpful learning about other governments’ approaches, while identifying common challenges and solutions to inform steps we can take to better understand the impact of trade in Scotland, including:

  • Canada’s in-depth labour market impact assessments and how these inform the Canadian approach to FTA negotiation.
  • New Zealand’s Computable General Equilibrium (CGE) modelling capabilities and their use to provide a detailed sectoral breakdown of impacts of trade shocks, such as those from a new trade agreement.[1]
  • The USTR’s work to “better understand the challenges, opportunities, and needs (data and tools)… for analyzing the distributional effects of trade flows, policies, and agreements on underserved and marginalized communities”. This included the findings of the United States International Trade Commission’s Investigation into the Distributional Effects of Trade and Trade Policy on US Workers. This report has important key findings, for example on the impact on employment of imports from low wage economies. It also identifies data gaps and ways to address these, highlighting many similar issues to those we face in Scotland, such as the need for greater trade data granularity and access to employee-employer matched longitudinal data.

We undertook a data mapping exercise, to catalogue available sources of data relevant to the differential impacts of trade in Scotland and identify any gaps.

The international engagement we have undertaken, and the sources of data identified in our data mapping exercise have been informed by the inputs of participants at a stakeholder roundtable, held in June 2022, on improving the trading environment for Scottish businesses, while addressing trade’s differential impacts on sectors, regions and groups (see also Section 3.1, below, on Stakeholder engagement). These inputs included: key data sources and insights on data access and availability, approaches of international comparators from which we could learn and possible approaches to addressing the differential impacts of trade.

1.1.3 Using trade as a lever to increase progress towards net zero and environmental targets

As the Vision makes clear, trade policy can and should support global climate ambitions. Our work this year continued to put this into practice.

In last year’s Annual Report we confirmed that, in close collaboration with Scottish Development International (SDI), Scotland’s trade and inward investment agency, we met our commitment in the Vision to end all Scottish Government overseas trade support and promotion activities solely focused on fossil fuel goods and services by COP26.

To implement this, we refocused our overseas trade support in this area towards products and services that align with the energy transition, aiming to accelerate growth in renewable energy exports. This policy is designed to support traditional oil and gas companies to diversify, securing long term sustainable opportunities, and supporting the energy transition. Scotland has a world class energy supply chain, and we now have the opportunity to use this to support that global energy transition.

Aligning trade support with climate priorities in this way is a key step towards trade operating as a lever to support global efforts to reach net-zero. This year we continued to implement this policy and undertook a review to ensure it is supporting progress towards our climate goals. Findings to date show that the policy has resulted in SDI transforming the way they do business to seize opportunities in the clean energy sectors. Since the policy’s launch, the portfolio of companies supported by SDI has transitioned from fossil fuel energy to those embracing the opportunities of the energy transition.

By helping to refocus SDI support, the policy has opened up additional international markets that are embracing the energy transition. SDI has undertaken international engagement within these markets, building new contacts and networks with key in-market players and developing an understanding of energy-related policy, licensing opportunities and associated procurement timelines. This has given companies in Scotland a kickstart to participate in global supply chains related to the energy transition.

Since the launch of this policy, SDI’s approach to strategic event planning has also transitioned from traditional global oil & gas events, such as the Offshore Technology Conference in Houston, to renewable specific shows, such as Wind Energy Hamburg. Event organisers have also shifted focus to the energy transition, which has been a key theme at global shows in the past 12 months. For example, SDI participated in Abu Dhabi International Petroleum Exhibition and Conference in Autumn 2022 with a Scottish pavilion showcasing companies who have embraced the energy transition and secured strong planned international sales.

This year we showcased Scotland’s environmental regulation at a multilateral level. This involved representing the UK Government at the WTO TBT Committee thematic session on regulatory cooperation between members on plastic regulation. Scottish Government officials presented on Scotland’s Single Use Plastics Regulations, which were notified to the WTO in 2021. We used this opportunity to signal that we are transparent and open to the scrutiny that comes with effective global governance, while ensuring that the rules on trade do not prevent Scotland from meeting ambitious environmental targets.

1.1.4 Operating as a good global citizen, supporting global governance structures on trade that work for all

The Vision recognised that human rights must be a central consideration in our trade policy. This year we took steps to build connections between human rights and Scottish Government activity related to trade.

As part of this work, we developed a Human Rights Assessment process to evaluate the human rights record of the UK Government’s prospective FTA partners and produce concrete recommendations on how the UK Government could use trade negotiations to promote and improve human rights. The process is supported within the Scottish Government by a cross-government Human Rights Reference Group.

Findings from our assessments have been used as the basis for Scottish Government input into FTAs under negotiation by the UK Government, highlighting specific issues, opportunities and recommendations (see also the section on Good Governance under 2.1.1 Applying our principles to FTAs, below).

1.2 Summary of our progress this year in using the range of available policy levers and our future plans

In addition to these highlights, we have made wider progress on a range of other policy levers to address trade issues currently facing our economy, people, and the planet. This includes progress on:

  • Market access barrier prioritisation
  • Regulation and standards
  • Engagement with the Centre for Inclusive Trade Policy
  • Gender and trade
  • Food, drink, food security and trade
  • Trade and climate adaptation
  • Trade in environmental goods and services
  • Engaging internationally on climate and trade at COP27
  • Strengthening WTO compliance and engagement
  • Human rights and trade
  • Discretionary measures against Russia

Market access barrier prioritisation

The Vision considered how we could best influence the trading environment to maximise our competitive advantages in goods and services. One means of doing so is through addressing market access barriers that are not, or are only partially, addressed through trade agreements.

While doing so can be a challenging and lengthy process, evidence suggests that the economic benefits of removing market access barriers far exceed those conferred by FTAs, particularly for small and medium-sized enterprises (which make up much of Scotland’s private sector).[2] Overcoming such barriers would improve trading conditions and increase access to international markets for Scottish goods and services sectors.

In the first year of implementation, we developed a methodology to identify and prioritise the most significant market access barriers affecting Scottish trade. This year we took a further step towards improving the trading environment for businesses in Scotland by piloting the use of this methodology with market barrier data from the UK Government’s Digital Market Access Service (DMAS).

Our initial focus was on goods and related regulatory barriers, followed by digital and services trade barriers. The findings of this pilot allowed us to refine the market access barrier prioritisation methodology, which will allow us to focus resources on barriers that most affect Scottish businesses.

Findings from the exercise included:

  • Gaps in quantitative data on trade in services mean that additional qualitative sources are needed to review service-related market access barriers.
  • Available detail in DMAS on barriers varies, which can make prioritisation more challenging. For those with limited detail, further consultation with stakeholders, within the Scottish Government and with the UK Government is a necessary step to help determine which barriers are of most interest to Scotland.
  • The principles set out in the Vision and wider Scottish Government policy were determinate in prioritising barriers, such as our Net Zero ambitions.
  • The resolution of most barriers will take a long time and cannot be achieved by the Scottish Government alone, so time to resolve a barrier must be central to the prioritisation methodology.

The use of this methodology has allowed us to identify priority market access barriers across goods, services and digital trade for the Scottish Government to consider. Actions plans can now be developed, in collaboration with the UK Government and stakeholders, to address the priority barriers that have been identified. Key barriers identified include tariff (e.g. import and export duties) and non-tariff barriers (e.g. differing technical standards, local data requirements, and certification). Examples include issues caused by differences in food and drink customs procedures with EU trading partners, inconsistent tariff charges on technology exports to Asia and compliance with regulatory and technical standards for chemicals and agriculture in trade with non-EU countries.

We are using these initial barriers as case studies to understand the types of levers available to address them, both those available to the UK Government and those available directly to the Scottish Government, such as engaging with Professional Standards Bodies, Scottish Development International and Global Scots.

Regulation and standards

The Vision recognised the role that international standards play in enabling trade and international competitiveness. This year we widened our engagement on standards and accreditation, including:

  • We continued to work with the British Standards Institution (BSI), the national standards body for the UK, to increase opportunities for Scottish participation in the development of standards at domestic, European and international levels. This included supporting an increase in Scottish Government representation on key BSI committees, such as: the Sustainable Finance Strategic Advisory Group, Hydrogen Integration Committee, natural capital, biodiversity and Artificial Intelligence.
  • We built up our engagement with the United Kingdom Accreditation Service (UKAS), as part of their role in enabling global trade and worked with them to raise awareness across Scottish Government on accreditation.
  • Both BSI and UKAS supported Scottish Government regulatory policy development on trade through participation in a roundtable on “What trade based on high regulatory standards means for Scotland’s businesses, workers and consumers” (see Section 3.1, below, on Stakeholder engagement).

We continued work to increase regulatory transparency and accountability through the Business and Regulatory Impact Assessment (BRIA) process. This year this included further expanding the Scottish Government’s Business and Regulatory Impact Assessment Template and Toolkit with a substantive new section on Regulatory and EU Alignment Impacts.[3] This aims to ensure coherence in the consideration of intra-UK trade, international trade and EU alignment when developing regulation. This supports proportionate regulation, so reducing costs for business, but within the context of regulating in the public interest.

The inclusion of questions on international trade in the BRIA has increased awareness of WTO requirements across the Scottish Government. By ensuring that we develop regulation in a transparent way that takes international trade into consideration, it has supported us to meet international obligations at the WTO and as part of FTAs.

We also built International Regulatory Cooperation (IRC) into key Scottish Government strategies to help reduce barriers to trade in key sectors whilst maintaining high regulatory standards. This included:

  • The Life Sciences Sector Export Plan: which includes reference to IRC as an enabler of export growth.
  • The Hydrogen Action Plan: which includes a reference to IRC with like-minded trading partners as an action that can support hydrogen exports. This includes opportunities for Scottish expertise to inform the development of international hydrogen-related regulations and standards.

Engagement with the Centre for Inclusive Trade Policy

A significant development over this period has been the launch of the new Centre for Inclusive Trade Policy in May 2022. The Centre is funded by an £8 million grant from the Economic and Social Research Council and will run over a five-year period. The Centre

aims to provide an evidence-based interdisciplinary approach to formulating an effective trade policy that delivers for all parts of society. Led by Professors L. Alan Winters and Michael Gasiorek at the University of Sussex Business School, it involves a range of other academic institutions, including Fraser of Allander at the University of Strathclyde.

Initial work has included a series of citizen’s juries to understand public views on the unavoidable choices and trade-offs that trade policy requires.

The Scottish Government has actively engaged with the Centre as a non-academic partner, including through inputting our research priorities on trade. One of the Centre’s projects will build a ‘Jobs in Trade Dataset’ to provide detailed information about UK jobs directly or indirectly linked to exporting. This is of particular interest to the Scottish Government as we work to improve our evidence base on the differential impacts of trade.

Gender and trade

In the Vision, we recognised the barriers women face in accessing the full benefits of international trade. Domestic policy interventions in support of gender equality could present an opportunity for the Scottish Government to take direct action to mitigate the impacts of trade on women. Over the past year, we have worked to identify those areas of domestic policy that interact with the international trade agenda. To inform this work, we created a gender equality policy network within the Scottish Government, which strengthened our understanding of these intersections. For example, an independent review into women in entrepreneurship in Scotland was recently published. Given that businesses led by women are less likely to export than those led by men, there are parallels between that review and our priorities on gender and trade.

Trade will be a key component of the Scottish Government’s development of a feminist approach to foreign policy, and we have therefore worked across government to ensure the Vision’s values are embedded within it. The Vision set out underlying elements that could support the application of a feminist approach to trade, including a values-based approach and the positioning of trade within a broader economic, social and environmental context. Additionally the Vision connected international and domestic policy; for example, it highlighted the importance of trade complementing domestic policy that aims to address gender inequality in Scotland. It also recognised the differential impacts of trade within Scotland, including within social groups according to gender, ethnicity, disability, and age, amongst other factors. Our work gives specific consideration of the impact of trade on women in their roles in society including as entrepreneurs, as workers, as consumers and as unpaid carers.

Over the past year, we have engaged with a range of stakeholders to identify practical steps that the Scottish Government can take to put into practice those ambitions in the Vision that relate to a feminist approach to trade. This includes considering the differential impacts of trade on women, girls and marginalised groups, as well as expanding opportunities for women in trade in all their various roles.

Food and drink, food security and trade

The Vision recognises the important contribution the food and drink industry brings to Scotland’s economy. Over this period we regularly engaged with the Scottish Food & Drink industry, including individual engagements with sector specific groups such as the Scotch Whisky Association. Engagement with SDI has allowed us to utilise the agency’s in-market specialist resource and ensured their priorities are reflected in our work. This has increased our understanding of the food and drink industry’s views on FTAs, whilst also ensuring they are aware of potential opportunities and the agencies that can help them navigate these agreements.

The principles outlined in the Vision have also been considered in the drafting of the Scottish Government’s first national Good Food Nation Plan, which will be published for public consultation in summer 2023. The Plan will reflect the fact that Scotland is part of a global food system: recognising that our domestic food production is also affected by the import of inputs from abroad and that the food that we produce in Scotland is not limited to the domestic market.

The Scottish Government recognises that the balance between domestic production and imports also plays a vital role in ensuring our food security. The UK currently imports around 46% of food with the majority of UK food imports, around 70%, sourced from the EU. Trade deals can play an important role, including through diversified supply chains, to enhance levels of food security resilience.

Following the recommendation of the Short-life Food Security and Supply Taskforce in June 2022, we established a Food Security Unit to monitor food security and supply chain disruption, including as a result of the conflict in Ukraine. The Unit’s initial focus will be to develop evidence-based systems to monitor risks or threats to the supply chain. This will help mitigate future shocks and impacts on food security, including consideration of trade’s role within Scotland’s food system. It is important that the UK Government develops a coherent approach to trade that directly addresses the link between trade, protecting domestic food production and food security.[4]

Trade and climate adaptation

In addition to using trade to contribute to net zero targets, action is needed to prepare for climate impacts on trade. Climate change, whether it occurs domestically or internationally, can cause supply chain disruption. Previous extreme weather events have affected supply chains by causing prices to rise, production and transportation delays and have even resulted in (the temporary) failure in the supply of certain goods and services. The high temperatures in summer 2022, for example, caused droughts on several major trade routes. Routes were closed or vessels had to sail with reduced cargos. This resulted in major supply chain disruption.

In early 2022, the third UK Climate Change Risk Assessment was adopted by Scottish Ministers, based on the evidence provided by the UK Climate Change Committee (CCC) on 61 specific risks and opportunities from climate change. The report concluded that current levels of policy intervention to prepare for current and projected effects of climate change are insufficient across almost all identified areas, including the risk to international trade routes – Risk ID7. The Scottish Government has a statutory requirement in the Climate Change (Scotland) Act 2009 to respond to these risks through 5-yearly adaptation programmes.

Jointly with Scottish Council for Development and Industry (SCDI) we held a roundtable with business and the CCC to consider this risk and potential responses, such as enhancing support and advice on business resilience provided by enterprise agencies to include climate risks.

This will inform the Scottish Government’s response to Risk ID7 in the next Scottish Climate Change Adaptation Programme, a draft of which is due to be published for public consultation in early 2024.

Trade in environmental goods and services

Taking steps to further trade in environmental goods and services is a key means for trade to support progress towards net‑zero targets, by developing our competitive advantages in areas with positive environmental and economic impact.

As part of this we embedded trade policy considerations into Scottish Government policies with relevance to environmental goods and services, including:

  • The Hydrogen Action Plan, published in December 2022. This includes a focus on harnessing the export opportunities across hydrogen supply chains. It outlines the trade-related actions the Scottish Government will take, for example, developing a Hydrogen Sector Export Plan and building our evidence base on priority markets and barriers to trade.
  • A Framework to Grow Scotland’s Renewables Exports, published in March 2023. This is an industry-focused framework which sets out actions to improve our understanding of export growth opportunities in renewables and to support exporters of renewables. It identifies the economic opportunities for Scotland and our exporting companies, such as onshore wind, offshore wind, marine and renewable heat. It also covers how we can share the technology, products, innovation, and expertise of cutting-edge Scottish companies to support others around the world in their transition to net zero.
  • The draft Energy Strategy and Just Transition Plan, published in January 2023, which identifies the ways in which trade can support sectors critical to Scotland’s energy transition.

We continued to develop our evidence base on environmental goods and services. In particular we are developing a methodology to measure Scotland’s net-zero and climate adaptation economy. This will allow us to assess where Scotland has export growth potential and investment opportunities across net zero and climate adaption supply chains. The final report is due to be published in Summer 2023. This will support the export commitments in the draft Energy Strategy and Just Transition Plan, the delivery of the Renewables Framework and the development of the Hydrogen Sector Export Plan. It will also support our engagement with the UK Government on FTAs and the WTO.

We have taken steps to obtain more detailed Scotland-level data on imports and exports of certain environmental goods from HMRC under a memorandum of understanding. This will inform the development and delivery of the Renewables Framework and Hydrogen Sector Export Plan. It will also support work with the UK Government on their priorities for FTA negotiations.

Engaging internationally on climate and trade at COP27

Building on the legacy of COP26, where we demonstrated how trade can contribute to net zero, at COP27 the Scottish Government showcased Scotland’s potential as a future exporter of green hydrogen. In partnership with the Government of South Australia, the Scottish Government launched a Green Hydrogen Taskforce, as part of the Under 2 Coalition’s Net Zero Futures Policy Forum. As Taskforce Co-Chairs, Scotland and South Australia led a panel discussion on the opportunities and challenges of green hydrogen as a vector for the global energy transition, with contributions from the Governments of Quebec and North Rhine-Westphalia. Shared policy interests across international policymakers and industry leaders were identified which will be explored further through the Taskforce’s work programme.

Strengthening WTO compliance and engagement

We continued to demonstrate the Scottish Government’s commitment to the rules-based system of trade at the WTO over this period, including through our compliance with WTO obligations and by taking opportunities to strengthen our involvement in WTO business.

We have continued to build capacity across the Scottish Government to engage with the work of the WTO, to ensure our policies are compliant with its rules, including through awareness sessions and teach-ins with academics, such as a session with Professor Andrew Lang from the University of Edinburgh.

We engaged with the UK Government as part of its involvement with the WTO Trade Policy Review process, including those of Brazil, Mexico, Japan, New Zealand, Switzerland/Lichtenstein, the EU, and the USA. By contributing to the UK’s response we were able to use this process to raise questions of importance for businesses and people in Scotland. Questions submitted covered a range of topics, including specific market access barriers, climate and sustainability, investment, FTA implementation, services and gender.

We place a high value on learning from, and engaging with, like-minded countries to inform our policy development. The Trade Policy Review process has provided an opportunity to do this, by allowing us to identify where policy development aims, for example on Net Zero or labour rights, align with those of partner countries.

Human Rights and trade

In addition to developing a Human Rights Assessment of prospective UK FTA partners, we sought to embed human rights in all aspects of trade policy, by contributing to high level Scottish Government reports on human rights, including:

In line with our commitment to the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, we wrote to seven companies identified as having a relationship with a Scottish public body and which were included in the UN Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) Database of companies involved in ‘listed activities’ in the Occupied Palestinian Territories. We asked what they have done or were doing to cease those listed activities. This followed guidance issued in December 2021 to all public bodies asking them to consider the OHCHR Database in their due diligence processes.

Discretionary measures against Russia

Taking a principle-based approach to trade has never been more important in view of Russia’s continued illegal invasion of Ukraine. Trade and economic relationships with Russia have been a focus of the co-ordinated worldwide response. The Scottish Government therefore – and in addition to the UK’s legally binding sanctions regime – led calls for businesses to sever their links to Russia and made clear that the Scottish Government and its enterprise agencies will use all available powers not to support trade and investment activity with Russia.

Our economic agencies undertake a range of checks on businesses to identify any ongoing investment, trading, or other links with Russia, and steps they have taken to withdraw from them, while recognising where it may not always be feasible to do so, for example due to contractual obligations or if staff safety might be jeopardised.

1.3 Future plans - Key priorities for Year 3

Economy. We will take action to improve the trading environment for Scottish businesses, while applying our principles to ensure that we find the right balance between competing priorities, including by:

  • Implementing action plans to address the market access barriers most relevant to Scottish businesses, while respecting our principles. This will include working closely with the UK Government and stakeholders.
  • Further exploring other market access barriers, in particular, for food and drink, e-commerce and the technology and digital sectors.
  • Further building our relationship with UK standards and certification bodies to highlight Scottish interests in relation to the links between domestic regulation and international trade.
  • Continuing to develop our policy on International Regulatory Cooperation, including exploring opportunities for further engagement with like-minded trading partners on good regulation and standards.
  • Using the Scottish Services Trade Forum to inform the Scottish Government’s approach to trade in services, including on barriers to trade and our approach to improving access to information on the terms of trade.
  • Identifying opportunities to improve access to information on the terms of trade for businesses, particularly micro, small and medium enterprises.
  • Monitoring developments on digital trade and data within the EU to inform Scottish Government positions on digital trade.
  • Building our evidence base on digital trade, including reviewing available data on digital trade flows.
  • Taking steps to integrate the New Deal for Business into our trade policy work, such as through increased targeted business engagement on trade policy.

People. We will take action to advance more equal access to the gains and opportunities from international trade for people in Scotland, including by:

  • Taking steps to improve our evidence base on the differential impacts of trade in Scotland, such as through identifying options to address gaps in available data.
  • Identifying and reviewing policy levers available to the Scottish Government to mitigate or address the differential impacts of trade, including to widen underrepresented groups’ access to the opportunities from trade.
  • Continuing to engage internationally to draw on international good practice on the differential impacts of trade.
  • Identifying practical actions that the Scottish Government could take to increase the benefits of trade for women. This could include developing stronger links between trade and domestic policy on gender equality and aligning with a feminist approach to international work.
  • Directly engaging with the Centre for Inclusive Trade Policy’s research agenda to support outcomes aligned to Scottish Government policy development, including proposing research ideas and potentially hosting studentships.
  • Supporting work to embed the Vision’s principles into the evaluation of priority export markets.

Planet. We will take action to use trade to contribute to addressing global challenges, such as tackling the climate and nature crises, reducing global inequalities and building international cooperation, including by:

  • Continuing to review the policy on trade promotion and support for the overseas fossil fuel energy sector. We will work closely with the UK Government on any efforts to update the guidance to support implementation of the policy.
  • Supporting the delivery of Scotland’s Renewables Exports Framework, including the development of a detailed action plan.
  • Working across Scottish Government and Agencies to develop a policy response to trade-related aspects of the third UK Climate Change Risk Assessment, such as risk ID7 – the risk to international trade routes from climate change.
  • Refining our position on Trade and Sustainable Development in FTAs, using the EU’s approach as a benchmark.
  • Assessing the impact on trade and investment from approaches adopted by different countries and regions to tackle climate change.
  • Ensuring consideration of trade policy levers in relation to environmental goods and services in the Hydrogen Sector Export Plan.
  • Supporting development and delivery of the Scottish Government’s Just Transition Plans, due to be published this autumn, for Energy, Transport, Buildings and Construction, and Land use and Agriculture.
  • Continuing to strengthen the role of Scotland at the WTO. This includes maximising the use of the WTO Trade Policy Review process and exploring the use of other potential levers, as set out in Section 3.2 below.
  • Further building capacity across the Scottish Government on WTO compliance.
  • Reviewing and consolidating all current Scottish Government policy on human rights and trade and investment and communicating this policy through a dedicated section on the Scottish Government website.
  • Supporting Scotland’s enterprise agencies to carry out due diligence checks on their trade support, including applying the Scottish Government’s discretionary economic policy against trade and investment with Russia.
  • Monitoring updates to the publication of any revised UN OHCHR Database of companies involved in ‘listed activities’ in the Occupied Palestinian Territories and communicating with public bodies on any implications for human rights due diligence.



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