Food and drink boosts Scottish exports

Manufactured exports in Scotland grew by 0.8 per cent during the third quarter of 2012, boosted by strong growth in the food and drink sector, official data has shown.

Figures from the National Statistics Publication for Scotland revealed that the biggest contribution came from drink exports, which saw 9.2 per cent quarter on quarter growth.

Growth was also recorded in food and tobacco (1.6 per cent) and in the wood, paper, publishing and printing sector (0.2 per cent) in the three months to the end of September.

This welcome boost to Scottish exports followed a period of decline in the previous three quarters. Overall, manufactured export volumes fell by 0.8 per cent in the year to the end of September 2012, leaving figures well below their pre-recession levels.

Scottish Finance Secretary, John Swinney, said: "The food and drink sector is performing extremely well and it is clear that many counties have developed a taste for Scottish goods. Our excellent natural larder guarantees some of the best produce in the world and this reputation for quality is paying dividends."

The 2012 Autumn Statement in December highlighted that exports, particularly to emerging markets, would be essential in boosting the UK economy.

Swinney continued: "By increasing exports we can help build sustainable economic growth for Scotland and the public sector is focused on working effectively with the business community to showcase the range of goods and services that Scotland has to offer."

"There are exciting opportunities to seize in emerging economies in Asia, South America, the Middle East, Africa and Eastern Europe and also in traditional areas such as US and Europe. Improving our access and dialogue with international growth markets will open up Scottish exports to new customers and build on Scotland's attractiveness as a place for international trade and investment."