Date Created: 27 July 2012
Scottish Development International (SDI) has announced plans to open seven new overseas offices during the next year and extend its overseas staff by a quarter.
These efforts will seek to build on recent successes, with Ernst & Young’s influential UK Attractiveness Survey reporting that Scotland was the UK’s leading location for FDI job creation for the second year running.
The move will allow SDI to be more proactive in responding to significant new international opportunities, particularly in emerging markets where staff operating on the ground with specific in–market expertise is vital to secure new business.
First Minister Alex Salmond said: “In tough economic times it is absolutely crucial that we do everything we can to secure new investment and jobs in Scotland.
“Scotland is clearly already an attractive place for international business, with the influential Ernst & Young survey demonstrating that – for the second year in a row - we lead these islands in inward investment projects.
“Those findings, allied to recent investment announcements from major firms such as Mitsubishi, Samsung and GlaxoSmithKline are a testament to Scotland’s attractiveness to foreign investors and multinational companies.”
He continued: “I am delighted that Scottish Development International is expanding its operations, with seven new offices to be opened in key overseas markets as part of renewed efforts to capitalise on Scotland’s strengths in sectors such as energy, food and drink and life sciences.”
Asia to see biggest expansion
The biggest expansion will be in Asia, where SDI is seeing significant interest in Scotland’s strengths in growth industries such as food & drink, energy, business services, technology and life sciences.
SDI plans to extend its staff by over 25 percent, with new offices opening in both China and India later this year.
SDI also plans to establish a presence in Brazil, Norway and West Africa and expand its existing presence in the Middle East to tap into new market opportunities.
Aiming to more than double its activity in these regions over the next three years, SDI’s expansion also includes some traditional markets that offer significant opportunities for Scotland, particularly for new exporters, such as Canada, the US and Germany.
Anne MacColl, chief executive, Scottish Development International, added: “SDI is committed to helping companies address wider barriers to internationalisation including access to finance, leadership and innovation.
She continued: “We can help increase the reach of our companies - ultimately driving home long-term sustainable growth for the Scottish economy.”
Want to know more? Read the full press release at the Scottish Enterprise Media Centre
Don't fully understand what we do? Find out more about us
Key international markets
We expect that there will be an increase in demand for Scottish goods and services in the following markets:
- China, which as the second largest consumer of energy consumption after the USA, is set to become the largest importer of food by 2017 and will offer significant opportunities for Scotland’s energy and food and drink sectors
- The Middle East, where there will be considerable investment in the continued growth of the energy sector over the next ten years
- Norway, where Scottish premium food and drink continues to be in high demand, driven by the population’s high disposable income in addition to new opportunities in oil and gas
- Brazil, which as the world’s ninth largest oil producer, also offers significant opportunities for Scotland’s oil and gas companies
- West Africa, which has been identified as a market that offers significant opportunities for Scotland’s oil and gas industry to grow internationally through supply chain development and technology collaboration.
- South Africa, which is the 5th largest export market for Scotch Whisky
- Canada, which has been rated by the Economist Intelligence Unit as the number one place to do business in the G7 over the next 3 years
- South East Asia, which is the world’s fastest growing student market and is set to account for 70 per cent of the global demand for international higher education by 2025.
Discover more information on some of the above markets plus several more in our market reports