Scottish Government
Printable version

International trade boost

Companies helped to expand - projected international sales of £1.2 billion. 

New figures announced yesterday show that more Scottish-based companies than ever before have been supported to expand internationally.

Scottish Development International (SDI) has supported 2,708 companies in the past year. Of these companies, 228 have high export potential this is expected to generate £1.2 billion in international trade, up 53 per cent on 2012/13 projections.

The Scottish Enterprise annual review for 2013/14 also shows that the number of companies assisted has increased by almost 30 per cent.

Speaking at the Commonwealth Games Business Conference, which is taking place in Glasgow, Finance Secretary John Swinney said:

"These figures underline the significant international success that businesses across Scotland are experiencing – with companies supported by SDI projecting a record high of £1.2 billion in international sales.

“With Scotland’s economy now back above pre-recession levels, exceeding our pre-recession peak at least one quarter ahead of the UK, it’s vital that we support companies as they capitalise on this growth and expand internationally.

“Over the past year our enterprise agencies have supported more companies than ever before into new overseas markets, up by 29 per cent from 2,096 firms in 2012/13 to 2,708 in 2013/14. And with output in Scotland at record levels, this growth in trade within global markets is very welcome.

“I am delighted to be welcoming so many business leaders from around the Commonwealth to Scotland to forge new international commercial partnerships.

“There is no doubt that the Commonwealth Games has brought huge international focus on Glasgow and Scotland. The Games are already delivering a significant economic legacy that will benefit Scottish businesses and communities for years to come and we are committed to working with Commonwealth countries to extend that ambitious economic legacy.

“We have an important and distinct economic story to share in terms of our successful approach to tackling the recession and our strategy for increased and sustainable economic growth.

“As we continue work to strengthen our economic growth through innovation and entrepreneurship, boosting Commonwealth and international trade will be a key focus for this government - I expect the relationships and connections made at this conference to yield great results.”

Anne MacColl, Chief Executive, Scottish Development International said:

“These results highlight that Scottish companies have reached a real turning point where international exporting has become an integral part of growing their companies.

“This record level of demand for our support demonstrates that Scottish businesses are becoming more confident, developing a more international mindset and crucially embracing markets worldwide. We have a real opportunity to use this as a springboard to radically transform Scotland’s economy.

“The events around 2014 offer us unprecedented opportunity to promote the quality of Scottish products and services whilst showcasing Scotland as a great place to invest.”


Listen to the Finance Secretary at the Commonwealth Games Business Conference here:

Watch clips from the Commonwealth Games Business Conference here:

The Scottish Enterprise annual review 2013/14 will be published in the coming months. The following excerpt is available at -

Highlights from the report and comparison with the previous year are shown below:



  • 228 companies projecting significant increases in turnover as a result of international trade, with projected international sales of £1.254 billion over 3 years.
  • A total of 2,708 companies assisted overall.




  • 229 companies projecting significant increases in turnover as a result of international trade, with projected international sales of £818 million over 3 years.
  • A total of 2,096 companies assisted overall.


The First Minister opened the business conference, announcing record inward investment which is creating thousands of jobs in Scotland -

Ahead of the conference, the First Minister also announced that the turnover of Scottish research and development companies assisted by the public sector has doubled in the last year to over £200 million -

The Commonwealth Games Business Conference is a one and a half day event on 22 and 23 July, taking place immediately prior to the Opening Ceremony of the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games.

The conference provides a platform for businesses from across the Commonwealth to come together and forge new international commercial partnerships. An audience of more than 200 business CEOs and political leaders from across the Commonwealth will be in attendance.

Speakers over the two days include First Minister of Scotland, Alex Salmond; Governor of the Bank of England, Mark Carney; Cabinet Secretary for Finance, Employment and Sustainable Growth, John Swinney; UK Trade Minister, Lord Livingston; Chief Executive of Scottish Enterprise, Lena Wilson; Chair of the Commonwealth Games 2014 Organising Committee, Lord Smith; as well as keynote speeches from senior UK Cabinet Ministers.

Channel website:

Share this article

Latest News from
Scottish Government