Scottish Products: Overseas Promotion

Business and Trade – in the House of Commons at on 2 May 2024.

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Photo of Neale Hanvey Neale Hanvey Alba, Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath

What recent discussions she has had with the Scottish Government on the promotion of Scottish products in overseas markets.

Photo of Kemi Badenoch Kemi Badenoch Minister of State (Housing, Communities and Local Government), Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office), Minister for Women and Equalities, Secretary of State for Business and Trade, President of the Board of Trade, Minister for Women and Equalities

My Department works closely with the Scottish Government and their agencies to promote Scottish products in overseas markets. We have recently delivered our Made in Scotland, Sold to the World exporter roadshow in Glasgow. On top of that, I am pleased to say that the PG Paper Company, a brilliant Scottish business, has just received an award in this year’s Made in the UK, Sold to the World awards.

Photo of Neale Hanvey Neale Hanvey Alba, Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath

The value of Scotland’s oil exports to the EU reached £9.4 billion in 2023, with total oil exports up 14.7%, so the value of oil as an export commodity cannot be overstated. Those billions of pounds in exports can be balanced against the modest £80 million investment that would increase Grangemouth’s profitability threefold, secure its long-term future and save Grangemouth from closure. Does the Secretary of State accept that it would be absurd for Scotland to be the only major oil-producing nation without a refinery capacity, and will she agree to meet me to discuss this matter further, given that the Scottish Government are otherwise occupied?

Photo of Kemi Badenoch Kemi Badenoch Minister of State (Housing, Communities and Local Government), Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office), Minister for Women and Equalities, Secretary of State for Business and Trade, President of the Board of Trade, Minister for Women and Equalities

The hon. Gentleman is right to raise this issue. It is something that we are concerned about and the UK and Scottish Governments are working together to understand all the options for the future of the refinery, and working closely on the issue through forums such as the Grangemouth Future Industry Board. I am very happy to meet him—as are other Ministers—to discuss this matter further.

Photo of David Mundell David Mundell Conservative, Dumfriesshire, Clydesdale and Tweeddale

Does the Secretary of State agree that, while there has been great progress in promoting and increasing the export of traditional Scottish products, such as whisky, we also need to support new businesses, such as one in South Lanarkshire that is keen to expand electronic vehicle infrastructure into the United States?

Photo of Kemi Badenoch Kemi Badenoch Minister of State (Housing, Communities and Local Government), Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office), Minister for Women and Equalities, Secretary of State for Business and Trade, President of the Board of Trade, Minister for Women and Equalities

Yes, my right hon. Friend is quite right: our exports need to be about the future, not just about the traditional industries, such as Scottish whisky, which are the pride of Scotland and of the UK. Electric vehicles are one way that we will hit our net zero target, and this is an area that the Department for Energy Security and Net Zero is focused on and that I support in Business and Trade. If there is anything specific that we can look into for his constituency, we would be very happy to help.