Scotland’s international export performance: some recent evidence

Jonathan Slow, Stewart Turner, Kenny Richmond

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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    Abstract

    This paper outlines the latest data and evidence on Scotland’s export performance and highlights key changes over the past decade. Exporting, for the purposes of this paper, is defined as sales to overseas markets. Scotland’s international exports have changed significantly over the past 10 years. The overall nominal value of international sales has grown since 2005 but the number of exporting businesses has declined, with the result that Scotland’s exports are increasingly reliant on the performance of fewer firms. The sectoral composition of Scottish exports has also changed significantly: in manufacturing, the main change has been from electronics to food & drink and chemicals. Additionally, the overall contribution of Services exports, such as financial and business services, has been important. Developed economies, particularly the EU and US, are Scotland’s largest export markets with emerging economies beginning to comprise a larger proportion of Scottish exports, albeit from a low base. A key factor in raising Scottish exports from current levels will be to increase the number of exporting businesses. Evidence suggests only a very small number of non-exporting businesses (3%) plan to start exporting. However, for example, if Scotland had an export rate similar to that of the UK there would be an additional 2,500 exporting businesses.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)91-100
    Number of pages10
    JournalFraser of Allander Economic Commentary
    Volume39
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - Nov 2015

    Keywords

    • Scottish economic conditions
    • Scottish economy
    • Fraser of Allander

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