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Parliamentary debates and questions

S5W-22281: Jackie Baillie (Dumbarton)

Scottish Labour

Date lodged: 21 March 2019

To ask the Scottish Government what its original target was for the growth in exportingfor 2010-17, expressed in (a) percentage terms and (b) value; what the actual figures were and, if the target was not met, (i) for what reason and (ii) what lessons it has learned.

Answered by: Ivan McKee 28 March 2019

The Scottish Government set an ambitious target to grow the value of Scottish exports by 50% between 2010 and 2017. This would have required a increase of approximately £11billion based on the value of exports calculated at the time. In 2017, Scottish exports increased to £32.4billion from £24.1billion in 2010, representing a 35% increase. This was a significant improvement compared with 18% growth over the previous eight years (2002 to 2010). The reasons the target was not achieved are complex and varied. The target period was marked by challenging global economic conditions and a worldwide slowdown in trade growth that was not unique to Scotland.

Nevertheless, we recognise that achieving a greater step change in Scotland's export performance will require a different approach. This will be set out shortly in the forthcoming Export Growth Plan, which is backed by a £20million investment in new actions to significantly grow the value of Scottish exports as a proportion of GDP. The Plan will be published by 1 May, subject to avoiding major disruption from Brexit.