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Brown hails stronger figures

Exports rise by a fifth, boosted by oil recovery

Port of Grangemouth

Export boost: goods leaving Scotland rose in the last quarter

Scotland’s exports shot up in the final quarter and outperformed anywhere else in the UK, according to new data.

A rise of 19% put Scotland well ahead and was supported by a recovery in the oil and gas industry.

The figures also show that the Netherlands has overtaken the US as the biggest buyer of Scottish goods.

Annual goods exports from Scotland compared favourably to the UK’s average of 13.3% and contributed nearly £29 billion to Scotland’s economy.

This includes a growth of over 40% in exports to both the Netherlands and China, and over 25% growth in exports to France. Exports to the EU as a whole increased by 24% to £14.1 billion – while total UK exports to the EU grew by only 14%.

Commenting on the HMRC – Regional Trade Statistics – for quarter four, Economy Secretary Keith Brown said: “I’m sure many people in Scotland will be encouraged, as I was, by today’s statistics, which clearly show that Scotland’s exports industry is showing strong growth, in spite of the looming shadow of Brexit.

“Overall, our goods exports grew in this quarter by almost a fifth (19%) to £28.8 billion. That’s higher than the overall UK rate and the highest out of any UK nation

“There was also welcome news for oil and gas, with the increase in exports clearly demonstrating that confidence is returning to that sector – which is of course one of Scotland’s most important industries.  

“Of course, the stats also highlight the importance of the EU as a trading partner – with 49% of our goods exported to our European neighbours last year.

“It is interesting to note that the Netherlands overtook the USA as Scotland’s largest export partner – with £4.3 billion in goods being sent to the lowland country. 

Mr Brown added: “These figures are positive – across a number of sectors, and across a number of global markets.   

“The Scottish Government continues to do everything in our power to support the Scottish economy and grow exports further, in spite of the uncertainty caused by Brexit. That includes the delivery of our trade and industry strategy, and our four point plan to boost export performance.”

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