Scottish Government
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Virtual trade centre

Ambitious companies are getting access to a new Virtual Trade Centre to help them boost exports and Scotland's economic recovery.

Scottish Development International is launching a new online toolkit which will be the first in a range of services delivered through SDI.co.uk to encourage and assist businesses as they move into international markets.

This will help them make the most of their current skills and expertise in exporting and direct them to the services and advice that they need to expand further. It will allow new exporters to identify and take their first steps towards global expansion.

Finance Secretary John Swinney said:

"We live in an increasingly globalised economy and never has it been more important for businesses to seize the massive opportunities that are available overseas as a result. Improved export performance is essential if we are to move onto a more sustainable, balanced path of growth and that's why we're making this investment.

"We committed to assisting new and current exporters and the Virtual Trade Centre helps deliver on that pledge. This is an exciting step forward in the on-going effort to help Scottish companies take their businesses to the next level.

"The online approach has many advantages. Not only can people use it when they are on the move, across times zones and countries, but the content is interactive and this means it can be tailored to individual business needs."

Scottish Development International Chief Executive Anne MacColl said:

"Our message to ambitious Scottish companies is clear - it doesn't matter if you are new to exporting or are already trading in one or more international markets. It's all about equipping yourself with the right skills and expertise to grow your business internationally and SDI has the tools to help you do that.

"Companies that haven't yet exported tell us that what they need help with is in quickly identifying the best initial steps to successfully access new international markets. Equally, we know that companies that already trade overseas often need help in growing their exports and in gaining that extra competitive edge.

"Our new Virtual Trade Centre can help overcome these obstacles, encouraging more Scottish businesses to compete at a global level, gain confidence internationally and boost the Scottish economy."

HSBC CEO Scotland, John R Rendall said:

"As a business that supports others to start trading overseas and to successfully expand their overseas sales, HSBC warmly welcomes initiatives like the Virtual Trade Centre that make practical help as accessible as possible.

"The export opportunities for Scottish businesses are significant and are growing. We see customers in Scotland of all sizes achieving strong export sales growth. But it remains the case that interested businesses with export potential can be deterred and discouraged by perceived risks and complexities. That's why practical initiatives like this are so valuable and why we'll encourage businesses to use them."

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