HRH Duke of Edinburgh, 10 June 1921 to 9 April 2021 Read more

Publication - Strategy/plan

Trade: our vision

The trade vision sets out our trade principles of inclusive growth, wellbeing, sustainability, net zero and good governance. These principles are rooted in Scotland’s National Performance Framework and will underpin the trading and investment relationships we want for Scotland.

93 page PDF

748.1 kB

93 page PDF

748.1 kB

Trade: our vision
5. Next Steps - Stakeholder Dialogue and Monitoring

93 page PDF

748.1 kB

5. Next Steps - Stakeholder Dialogue and Monitoring

An invitation to ongoing dialogue on trade policy

Our Vision for Trade is based on five established Scottish Government trade principles. However, it is important that the application of these principles to the many real world issues that the Scottish economy will face in the future is informed by the experience and expertise of consumers, businesses, workers, civil society and others. We will reach out to organisations and other interested individuals to ensure that we hear the voices of those who will be affected by future trading arrangements. Hearing the voices of individuals, businesses, academics and other organisations in Scotland and globally on trade policy is a priority for the Scottish Government and this Vision for Trade acts as our call for an ongoing and open dialogue on trade policy. The Scottish Parliament will also have an important role to play in the future consideration of trade-related issues and has already started to consider how this can be achieved. The Scottish Government looks forward to discussing this issue.

Discussions with a wide range of interested parties and the opportunity to take these into account will also be central to the success of our approach to monitoring the Vision for Trade. This applies to the development of monitoring arrangements and the proposed indicators as much as the use of those arrangements to test future trade-related decisions. The indicators we use are likely to develop over time.

Monitoring the Vision for Trade

The Vision for Trade sets out the guiding principles by which we will judge our own future trade policy decisions and contribute to any shared decisions with future trading partners. It is more than a statement of where we are now and will provide a basis for consideration and decision into the future. Over time (and as part of the process outlined above) we will refine our indicators against which to test future decisions.

Initially we propose a two part process which will contribute to an Annual Trade Policy Review:

Part 1: testing policy development and decisions against the trade principles

This sets out a series of questions we will use when developing trade-related policy and or taking trade policy decisions, based on the five trade principles described in this document. This process can also be used to inform our assessment of future trade policy decisions taken by the UK Government.

Inclusive Growth

  • Are there opportunities for sectors and or businesses in Scotland as a result of this policy/decision?
  • Are particular sectors and/or protected characteristic groups likely to be asymmetrically affected by this policy or decision?
  • If there is likely to be a differentiated impact, have options been considered to mitigate adverse effects where they might arise?
  • Does this policy/decision contribute to providing good quality jobs, fair work, an enhanced quality of life and to reducing inequality?


  • Has the impact of this policy/decision on individual and collective wellbeing been assessed according to the Scottish Government's National Performance Framework outcomes?
  • Has the impact of this policy/decision on the role of businesses in contributing to individual and or collective wellbeing been assessed?
  • Does the policy/decision support the Scottish Government's desired public service outcomes?


  • How does this policy/decision relate to the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals?
  • Specifically, have the economic, social and environmental impacts been considered?
  • Have both short term and long-term impacts of the policy/decision been considered?

Net Zero

  • Does this policy/decision have an impact on progress towards the Scottish Government's net zero targets?
  • Does this policy/decision have an impact on environmental sustainability?

Good Governance

  • Does this policy/decision respect good governance requirements?
  • Is this policy/decision in line with the Scottish Government's commitment to the rule of law, transparency and accountability and support for human rights?
  • Will this policy/decision be evaluated and will it be possible for the policy/decision to be reviewed as a result of any evaluation?
  • Does this policy comply with international law in respect of human rights abuses?

Part 2: monitoring of progress of the Vision for Trade

This will allow the progress of the Vision for Trade to be tracked through monitoring the outcomes for the interests of particular sectors of the Scottish economy, businesses, consumers and individuals. We will also use this methodology to assess the effectiveness and impact of international networks and our engagement with the UK Government.




Sector based changes in the trading environment for Scottish goods and services sectors (including digital trade).

Interviews with purposive sample of businesses within key goods and service sectors in the Scottish economy.

Market access tracker.

Existence of regulator-to-regulator agreements or sectoral agreements on services.

Funding for businesses that includes support on improving the use/take up of Free Trade Agreements.

Business and Regulatory Impact Assessments assessing international trade impacts.

Evidence of consideration of the impact of trade on climate within climate, transport, procurement, environment and other policies.


Qualitative indicator to be defined in consultation with businesses to capture: Changes experienced by Scottish businesses in the trading environment and business' experience of the trade principles.

Interviews with sample of businesses within key goods and service sectors.

Identification of good practices of businesses in contributing to the application of the trade principles.


Level of participation of consumers in trade policy.

Annual trade attitudes survey –consumer-related questions.

Reports from Scottish Government commissioned research on consumers.

Records of engagement with consumer stakeholder groups on trade.

Products of Scottish Government supported involvement of universities in consumer-related research and education.


Changes in impact of trade on individual wellbeing.

Annual trade attitudes survey – on trade-resultant changes in wellbeing as experienced by individuals.

Evidence of steps taken to consider impacts of trade decisions, shocks and trends on people and options to mitigate them, such as: existence of an evidence base on the differential impacts of trade; policies on mitigation of differential impacts; evidence of consideration of trade's impacts within labour market, education, skills and regional development policies.

International networks

Quality of global trade relationships built with like-minded countries.

Case studies with examples of Scotland projecting its trade principles internationally; presence at international conferences of Scottish Government Ministers or Scottish businesses; press coverage; reports of conferences.

Link to International Networks indicator in the National Performance Framework.

UK Government engagement

Level of engagement with UK Government on trade issues of importance for Scottish people and businesses.

Formal submissions and record of official engagements, which may include the following:

Improving the trading environment for Scottish businesses;

Prioritising regulating in the public interest;

Supporting public services;

Consumer interests;

Linking trade & climate;

Supporting developing countries through trade;

Reinforcing the WTO;

Addressing differential impacts of trade.