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Chamber and committees

Question ref. S5W-02159
Asked by: Ruth Davidson, Edinburgh Central, Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party
Date lodged: 26 August 2016


To ask the Scottish Government what it estimates the contribution is of the Scotch Whisky industry to Scottish GDP.

Current status: Answered by Keith Brown on 14 September 2016


The Scottish Government does not have disaggregated Gross Value Added (GVA) figures explicitly covering the 'whisky' industry. However, GVA figures for the 'spirits' industry, which is heavily dominated by the whisky industry, are published in the Scottish Government’s ‘Scottish Annual Business Statistics’ report. The latest figures show that the ‘spirits’ industry directly generated £1.8 billion in GVA in Scotland in 2014.

The Scottish Whisky Association (SWA) also produce estimates of the economic impact of the Whisky sector. Their latest report estimates that the industry directly generated a GVA of £3.3 billion in Scotland in 2014. The variation in the above estimates reflects differences in the estimation methodologies employed and the definition of the whisky industry.

The economic contribution of the Whisky industry to the Scottish economy in future years will depend in part on the UK’s future relationship with the EU, a market worth over £1 billion to the sector. Prior to the referendum, the Scottish Whisky Association warned that the UK leaving the EU could put Scottish Whisky exports at risk.