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ECC International Update

Posted: 15th January 2020

The International team at the Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce (ECC) have had a busy few months. To further position Edinburgh as the UK’s most vibrant and productive city with strong investment potential, the ECC set out an ‘International Strategy’ last year to promote bilateral trade and investment to the city from overseas.  With over 1000 members from all sectors and an International network of Chambers worldwide, the ECC is ideally placed to assist Scottish businesses to explore international business opportunities and to increase their economic growth.

As a starting point in supporting the Scottish Government to encourage current exporters to enter additional markets, the ECC contacted a number of large-scale exporters from Edinburgh and surrounding area to gather information on potential new export markets.

This piece of research has enabled us to shape our program of forthcoming Trade Missions over the next 3 years. The research has also shown that Scottish businesses mainly export to the largest and strongest economies in Europe – Germany, France and Spain. Scandinavian countries – Norway, Sweden, Denmark and Finland are also significant markets.

It is interesting to note that further afield markets such as China and Japan have been highlighted in the top five, yet it was the USA indicated as the top priority market for Scottish businesses – despite the recent tariff increases on certain Scottish goods.


Current Top European Export Destinations from Edinburgh and Surrounding Area

–           86% currently export to Germany

–           76% currently export to France

–           57% currently export to Spain

–           48% currently export to Sweden

–           45% currently export to Norway

Other countries Scottish businesses export to are– Netherlands (41%), Italy and Turkey (38%), Denmark and Russian Federation (34%), Belgium, Finland, Greece, Poland, Switzerland (31%) and Ireland and Portugal (28%).

Potential new Export Markets for Edinburgh and Surrounding Area

–           41% are interested in entering USA

–           28% are interested in entering China

–           24% are interested in entering Germany

–           21% are interested in entering Japan

–           17% are interested in entering France

Other countries of interest are Australia, Italy and Russian Federation (14% each) and Belgium, Finland, Hong Kong, India, Netherlands and Sweden (10% each).

In order to deliver this, the ECC has been focusing on high impact Outward Trade Missions for local Scottish businesses. Our team led a mission to Paris with businesses representing the Travel, Tourism and Food and Drink sectors last October and a mission to Shenzhen last November with representation across the Technology, Sports and Creative Industries. The team are currently working on a mission to Philadelphia and Dublin in March this year and a further programme of trade missions to other priority markets over the next three years.

The ECC has also focused on growing the number of Inward Trade Missions to the City and has hosted trade missions from Finland, China and Spain during 2019. We are planning to host further inward trade missions visits from Bulgaria, France, Lithuania, India and China for this coming year.

Business Comment

Business Comment is the Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce’s bi-monthly magazine. It provides insight on Edinburgh’s vibrant business community, with features on the city’s key sectors, interviews with leading figures and news on new business developments in the capital.
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