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Chamber and committees

Question reference: S6W-12222

  • Asked by: Paul Sweeney, MSP for Glasgow, Scottish Labour
  • Date lodged: 16 November 2022
  • Current status: Answered by Ivan McKee on 23 November 2022


To ask the Scottish Government, further to the answer to question S6W-11686 by John Swinney on 28 October 2022, whether it will provide detail on how it plans to expand international opportunities to boost productivity in Scotland.


The Scottish Government’s drive to boost productivity and innovation is set out in the third programme of the National Strategy for Economic Transformation (NSET) . Our approach to expanding international opportunities is set out in NSET’s fifth programme “New Markets”, which is in turn driven by our Trade and Investment plans, Shaping Scotland's Economy: inward investment plan and A Trading Nation: a plan for growing Scotland's exports .

The inward investment plan, which was published in October 2020, takes a targeted approach to attract high quality inward investment into nine opportunity areas where Scotland’s strengths meet international demand, that fall within the overarching areas of Net Zero, Digital and High Value Manufacturing. The export plan refocuses the enterprise agencies’ export support activities to the markets with the international opportunities that best match our strengths, and to support the companies most able to service these opportunities.

Evidence suggests that foreign owned firms make a disproportionate impact to our economic performance and productivity. Just 3% of business in Scotland are foreign owned but account for over a third of jobs, almost half of GVA, just under two thirds of business research & development spending and three quarters of exports.

Progress to date on both the export growth and inward investment plans was set out in detail in A Trading Nation: progress review 2022 and Shaping Scotland's Economy - progress report 2022 .