Earlier this week businesses in Aberdeen shared their exporting experiences with MSPs on the Economy, Energy and Tourism Committee.
The committee is undertaking an inquiry into the barriers to exporting faced by Scottish businesses and is looking at why so many Scottish businesses don’t export.
Organised by Aberdeen & Grampian Chamber of Commerce, the visit gave businesses linked to the oil & gas sector the opportunity to give their views on what more could be done to encourage businesses to export.
Chamber research has shown that more than half of its members (56%) currently export, which is significantly higher than the UK average of a third (32%). Six out of ten businesses in the region are aiming to grow their sales internationally.
James Bream, research & policy director at the Chamber, said: “The committee was impressed by the number of good initiatives here in the North-east that let organisations share their knowledge of different markets and make the idea of exporting to new markets overseas less intimidating.
“The Chamber runs events and trade missions, as well as welcoming inward missions to the region, and we are keen to encourage more collaboration to help boost our international exports.”
The committee’s inquiry is also asking if the Scottish Government is likely to meet its export target of increasing the value of exports by 50 per cent by 2017.
Convener of the Economy, Energy and Tourism Committee, Murdo Fraser MSP said: “Gathering the views of business and hearing directly from companies about the challenges faced when exporting is vital to this inquiry and determining what further support can be given.
“The committee is particularly interested in understanding the role of our publicly funded economic development agencies and identifying what else they can do to support companies to export or to share knowledge and expertise in overseas markets.”