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Why exporting's important

Countries that export have stronger economies.

An image representing industry sectors that are key to Scotland's exports

Exporting helps Scotland’s economy to grow and creates jobs. It helps the Scottish Government collect more tax to:

  • improve living standards
  • improve public services

Exporting also helps Scotland build good relationships with other countries. This can help Scotland to have a positive influence on the world.

How exporting helps businesses

Exporting helps businesses to grow because it:

  • leads them to create new products and services
  • makes them more productive
  • gives them more customers to sell to

New products and services

Exporting can mean that businesses have more competitors.

But this can be a positive thing and can lead them to develop new products and services.

Businesses that export tend to spend more money on research and development. This helps them to develop new products and services to sell.

Improving productivity

Exporting helps businesses to become more productive. This means they produce more with the same amount of resources.

The Office of National Statistics and Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy say:

  • businesses that export make up 60% of the UK’s annual increase in productivity
  • the 3% of businesses in Scotland that export are on average 70% more productive than businesses that do not

More customers to sell to

Exporting also means businesses do not have to rely on a particular set of customers. This helps businesses to spread any risks.

For example, if sales drop in one market, the risk to their business might be less if they have other markets they sell to.

Scotland’s export growth plan

Because exporting is important to Scotland and its businesses, the Scottish Government has created an export growth plan. This plan is called A Trading Nation.

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