Official figures have shown an increase of nearly one per cent in the volume of Scottish exports for the year, with a strongly performing food and drink sector being behind the rise.
According to the Scottish Index of Manufactured Exports, exports in the three months until 30th September 2012 saw a real term increase of 0.8 per cent. This reverses the three previous quarters. However, the figures still revealed a net loss of 0.8 per cent for the year; effectively 10 per cent below the pre-recession level.
With many firms working with asset finance brokers to boost their overseas sales, the biggest contributor to the quarterly increase was seen in drink exports. This increased by 9.2 per cent in the quarter, whilst the whole food and drink sector contributed a 5.9 per cent rise. Taken annually, the sector rose by 2.9 per cent.
Other areas seeing an increase in exports included the printing sector. However, there were significant falls in textiles and engineering.
The news of the increase was welcomed by the finance secretary. Exclaiming the strong performance of the food and drink industry in the country, John Swinney said:
“Our excellent natural larder guarantees some of the best produce in the world and this reputation for quality is paying dividends.”
He went on to mention that with a love of Scottish products burgeoning in developing economies, there would be many more opportunities in the future.
Swinney highlighted the excitement that Africa, Asia, Eastern Europe, the Middle East and South America would generate for companies in Scotland getting their financial strategy right in coming years.