To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland, what assessment his Department has made of the effectiveness of recent trade missions in promoting Scottish exports.
In 2018- 2019, DIT organised 88 Ministerial visits to 49 export markets, to strengthen trading relationships, promote the UK as a destination for Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) and help grow demand for UK exports. A number of Ministerial Trade Dialogues were also held, including with China, Kazakhstan, Qatar, Taiwan, Turkey and Vietnam.
Additionally, the Prime Minister’s 33 Trade Envoys undertook 55 overseas visits in 2018-19 to 42 different markets, supporting the Government’s overall strategy to drive economic growth.
The benefits of DIT’s activities in this sphere reach across the whole of the UK, including for Scottish businesses. HMRC estimated that over 6,700 businesses exported their goods from Scotland in the first quarter of 2019 - more than ever before. Recent work has also resulted in breaking down trade barriers for British businesses in Japan, following successful work by DIT to lift the ban on British beef and lamb.