Can Scotland be more competitive internationally?


Holyrood’s Economy, Energy and Fair Work Committee is to have an inquiry into the role of Scottish Development International (SDI) in developing a Scotland that competes on the international stage.

SDI is the international trade and investment body for Scotland and brings together the knowledge and expertise of Scottish Enterprise, Highland and Islands Enterprise and the Scottish Government. The body has over 30 offices in 23 countries around the world.

The Committee will be looking at the role of SDI in supporting Scotland’s businesses expansion into the international market and what additional support is needed in post Brexit Scotland.

Committee Deputy Convener, Willie Coffey MSP said:         

“International trade and investment are vital to improving Scotland’s economic competitiveness.

“More and more businesses are wanting to expand internationally, and so the Committee wants to learn more on what support is needed to improve Scotland’s worldwide performance as an exporting nation.

“We want to hear from those in business, big and small who have a stake in the future of international trade in a post-Brexit era and want to have the opportunity to shape that discussion.”


  • Is the Scottish Government’s internationalisation policy sufficiently ambitious to support Scotland’s business base to improve economic competitiveness and performance?
  • What barriers to internationalisation are faced by Scotland’s businesses?
  • What does SDI do well and where can improvements be made?
  • Are businesses satisfied with the processes available to engage with SDI?
  • How well does SDI interact with the wider economic development policy landscape in Scotland?
  • What are the awareness and usage levels of the GlobalScot Network?
  • Are the levels of engagement between SDI and UK Trade and Investment (UKTI) satisfactory?
  • Have SDI activities made a difference to the growth of Scottish businesses?
  • Have exports, productivity, employment or turnover improved as a result of SDI support?
  • How does SDI contribute to: the Scottish Government’s ambitions for wellbeing and sustainable and inclusive growth the National Performance Framework?
  • Are you satisfied with the pace of change and level of preparedness of SDI in responding to the changing trade environment in the context of Brexit?
  • Do you believe that SDI represents good value for public sector spending?
  • Any other comments on Scotland’s internationalisation policy and SDI not covered elsewhere?        

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