Scottish exports growth expected to outshine rest of UK

Posted on 14 Aug 2013 by The Manufacturer

Exports of Scottish goods are forecast to grow faster than the rest of the UK over the next four years.

Accountancy firm EY said exports would rise by 2% each year between last year and 2017, while the UK as a whole is on track to see growth of 0.3%.

The troubled European economy is expecting to see export growth of just 1%.

The survey pinpoints Scotland’s emerging chemicals industry as a means of boosting its export sales, with engineering and aerospace also seen as important growth areas.

Whisky exports are also expected to continue to grow, with predictions of rising rising to £4.5bn annually by 2017.

Export Connect is the launch event in The Manufacturer magazine’s Accelerated Growth Series, new for 2013.

The event will take place on October 16 in London with keynote speeches and case study presentations that will explore how British Manufacturers have; and are planning to expand their business exports beyond the UK market.

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Jim Bishop, senior partner in Scotland, said: “It’s stunning to consider that the Commonwealth makes up 30% of the world. That incorporates a couple of billion people in some of the fastest growing economies where Scotland is exporting.

“Any increase in exports must be taken as a positive, but Scotland’s goods exporters must move away from a reliance on western trading partners and tap into rapid growth trade corridors where there great demand for what we do best.

Harnessing that appetite will help underpin the recovery of our largely services-based economy.”

EY also said the UK needed to re-orient its exports away from established markets to faster-growing ones.

This was particularly to target emerging economies, as the more mature economies will have less potential to increase their imports.

Growth is expected in sales to the US and Germany. But France, which has been Scotland’s second biggest export market, is forecast to reduce its imports from Scotland of 13% by 2017, and the Netherlands by 11%.

Analysis of growth markets suggested Venezuela, Latvia and Australia would be among those most sharply increasing their imports of Scottish goods, by at least 16% per year.