Textile Scotland attended the National Economic Forum earlier this month to hear the Scottish government’s ambitions for Scottish exports, as part of plans to redevelop the association’s export strategy.
Exports were identified as a key priority for Textile Scotland, when it became part of UK Fashion & Textile Association (UKFT) at the start of this year. The association is now starting to develop its strategy in light of the Scottish government’s ambitions for exporting from Scotland.
Launching the export plan in Edinburgh on 1st May, Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said: “Scottish economy growth rate has overtaken the UK.
“The target that we have adopted of exports accounting for 25% of our GDP in 10 years' time is both important and also ambitious,” she said.
“It would also be a very beneficial change. It would add more than 2% to the size of our economy and create in the region of 17,000 jobs.
“As a result of that, it would increase annual tax take – the money we can invest in public services and infrastructure – by an estimated £500 million a year.”
The proposals include around £20m of additional funding and support made available over the next three years. The additional fund would “target that support much more effectively than arguably we have before”, she said. It would be used to expand Scotland's international presence, trebling the number of trade envoys from four to 12 and helping companies grow existing exports and enter new markets.
Speaking to business delegates, she added: “All of us can play our part in helping our existing exporters to become even more successful and in encouraging new success stories to come into being.
“By doing so, we can ensure that internationalisation is a success story for Scotland's future as well as something that we continue to be proud of about Scotland's past and our heritage.”
Responding to the announcement, CBI Scotland director Tracy Black said: "Scotland has a proud exporting history yet we haven't kept pace with the progress made by other similar sized countries.
"To achieve the ambitious aim of boosting Scottish exports to 25% of our GDP by 2029, we need to ensure that existing resources are used as effectively as possible and to maintain a strong partnership between business, government and other stakeholders.”
Following recent consultation with textile industry leaders it was found the sector has aspirations for Scottish textiles to become synonymous with luxury, quality and innovation worldwide.
In response to this consultation and the launch of ‘A Trading Nation,’ Textiles Scotland, part of UKFT, is creating an ambitious plan to support the Scottish textile industry, enabling the sector to achieve its goals in exporting to the world.