International test

MPs to scrutinise promotion of Scottish trade

Port of Grangemouth
Scottish international trade under the microscope

MPs have launched an inquiry examining how effectively trade and investment in Scotland is promoted internationally by the UK Government.

The cross-party Scottish Affairs Committee, chaired by SNP MP Pete Wishart, will be looking at how recent free trade agreements have impacted on Scotland’s economy.

It will also investigate how Scotland’s cultural offer is promoted overseas, and the lasting impact of international events held in Scotland, such as the COP26 climate conference, in making Scotland an appealing place in which to invest.

The committee wants to know how Scotland’s products and interests are represented overseas through the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Offices’ embassies and missions around the world. It will examine the role of the Scotland Office in these endeavours and how it coordinates the promotion of Scotland.

There was no mention in its announcement of the work done by the Department for International Trade.

Mr Wishart said: “At home in the UK, we know Scotland’s extraordinary offering: from enormous cultural events of international significance to the finest food and drink.

“From whisky and fish to professional services, Scotland routinely punches above its weight on exports. The international appeal is there: 40% of Scottish exports – excluding oil and gas – go to countries all around the world, with the remaining 60% going to elsewhere in the UK.

“Our committee will be examining how well Scotland is promoted internationally, particularly to investors that may be considering Scotland as a place to do business. Is there more we can do, and can we attract even more investment to Scotland?”

The committee is inviting written submissions by 22 September.

Committee Membership: Pete Wishart – chair (SNP, Perth and North Perthshire), Mhairi Black (SNP, Paisley and Renfrewshire South), Andrew Bowie (Con, West Aberdeenshire and Kincardine),  Deidre Brock (SNP, Edinburgh North and Leith), Wendy Chamberlain (Lid Dem, North East Fife), Alberto Costa (Con, South Leicestershire), Jon Cruddas (Lab, Dagenham and Rainham), Sally-Ann Hart (Con, Hastings and Rye), John Lamont (Con, Berwickshire, Roxburgh and Selkirk), Douglas Ross (Con, Moray), Liz Twist (Lab, Blaydon).   

See also:

Scotland gets first direct container link with China

Grangemouth offers container boost for exporters

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