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A Trading Nation

Part of the debate – in the Scottish Parliament on 30th May 2019.

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Photo of Ivan McKee Ivan McKee Scottish National Party

Thank you very much, Presiding Officer.

Businesses that export deal with the currencies that their customers and suppliers work with. As Mr Lockhart should know, any business that exports significantly could deal in four, five or six different currencies at any point in time, as I have done in my past business career.

I think that Mr Lockhart was trying to ask me about the Scottish Government’s position on our currency in the future. If he had been paying attention, he would know that, the day before independence and the day after independence, Scotland’s currency will be the pound.

When it comes to joining up the dots in market, Scotland enjoys significant assets and we will work hard through a series of actions to make sure that our globalscot network, our trade envoys, the wider diaspora, our universities and our cities, with their twinning arrangements, are joined up to ensure that Scottish businesses benefit in country from those assets.

Over the coming months, we will work through the more than 100 actions that have been identified in “A Trading Nation”. Through a series of mechanisms, we will build up those actions to deliver the ambitious overarching targets that we have to grow Scotland’s exports as a percentage of GDP. Those actions include the First Minister’s export challenge, which involves joining businesses through peer-to-peer relationships, driving mentorships and marrying up businesses that have significant export experience with businesses that are starting out on that journey to support them through that process. We are working with the Scottish Chambers of Commerce on the international trade partnership, which allows businesses that are new to exporting to take part in trade missions. The Government is working to support the SCC to facilitate such missions to identified target markets.

We are working to expand our globalscot network by a factor of more than three over the coming years and beyond to ensure that we get the best from all the assets that we have. As well as re-energising the globalscot network by working with Scots abroad who have significant experience, we are putting in place more trade envoys, who have proved to be an invaluable resource in the countries in which they are currently present by supporting trade by Scottish businesses that want to export internationally.