E-Commerce Sales

– in the Scottish Parliament at on 23 March 2016.

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Photo of Gavin Brown Gavin Brown Conservative

5. To ask the Scottish Government what the estimated value of e-commerce sales was in 2014 and 2015. (S4O-05710)

Photo of John Swinney John Swinney Scottish National Party

Scottish Enterprise uses data published by the Office for National Statistics to estimate the value of e-commerce sales in Scotland. The latest data, which were published by ONS in November last year, mean that we can estimate the value of e-commerce sales in Scotland in 2014 at £49 billion. That is made up of £18 billion over websites and £31 billion through electronic data interchange sales. That represents an increase of £9 billion from £40 billion in 2012. Those data are published every two years, and the next figures will be available in 2016.

Photo of Gavin Brown Gavin Brown Conservative

Does the Scottish Government welcome the e-commerce excellence initiative that is led by the chambers of commerce? Can the Scottish Government do anything specific to engage with that initiative?

Photo of John Swinney John Swinney Scottish National Party

That goes back to the question about digital connectivity that I answered a moment ago. We acknowledge the importance of the availability of digital connectivity, which allows many companies in Scotland—particularly small and medium-sized enterprises—to access new markets. We very much welcome that initiative from the chambers of commerce and look forward to working with them, through the established structures of company development support, to ensure that SMEs take up the opportunity. We will work closely with the chambers of commerce to ensure that that happens.

I recognise that the issue of e-commerce is one that Mr Brown has pursued with vigour during his time as a member of Parliament, and I wish him well in the future.