MSP for Renfrewshire North and West, Derek Mackay, today welcomed Scotland’s 2018 export statistics during a visit to the Scottish Leather Group whose exports of leather products play a major part in the Bridge of Weir business’s success.
The latest figures show that Scotland’s exports to the European Union increased by £695 million between 2017 and 2018 (a rise of 4.5%) and total international exports rose by £1.1 billion (an increase of 3.4%).
Exports to the rest of the UK also increased by £1.2 billion (up 2.5% on 2017), bringing the total value of Scottish exports up to £85 billion.
Derek Mackay MSP, the Scottish Government’s Economy Secretary, said: “In welcoming the Export statistics Scotland 2018 figures today, I’m delighted to visit the Scottish Leather Group – one of Renfrewshire’s success stories with export sales representing more than 80% of turnover.
“I am impressed to see the company’s latest technological innovations producing specialist leather goods in Bridge of Weir which are exported and utilised in the furniture, aviation, marine and motoring industries across the world.
“The latest Scottish export figures demonstrate the strength of our economy, and the increasing value of exports; and it is encouraging to see demand for high quality Scottish products like our world-renowned food and drink continuing to rise.
“Significantly, they show that exports to the European Union grew at a faster rate than those to the rest of the UK or to other international markets. That demonstrates the growing value of the EU to Scotland’s exporters.
“On Friday, Scotland will be taken out of the European Union against our wishes – removing us from the world’s biggest trading bloc. That threatens to cause significant damage to both the local Renfrewshire and the Scottish economy, and poses particular problems for exporters, making it harder for us to reach our ambitious target of international exports being 25% of GDP by 2029.
“That is why the Scottish Government will continue to work to support exporting businesses in Renfrewshire and across the country, develop international links and encourage inclusive growth as set out in the refreshed Economic Action Plan I launched last week.”