Reasons why so few Scottish companies take the opportunity to export and the challenges of getting goods to market by freight are to be examined by two committees in the Scottish Parliament.
The Economy, Energy and Tourism Committee has today launched an inquiry into the barriers to exporting faced by Scottish businesses and will examine why so many Scottish businesses don’t export. The Committee’s Inquiry will also ask if the Scottish Government is likely to meet their export target of increasing the value of exports by 50 per cent by 2017.
The Infrastructure and Capital Investment Committee’s inquiry will look to identify the main obstacles to the flow of rail, road, sea and air freight in Scotland and examine how these might be overcome. The Committee will also be asking how Scotland’s internal and external freight routes can be improved.
Each Committee has issued a call for views and they are asking the freight and haulage industries, businesses, representative organisations and others with an interest in exports and freight to give their views on the issue.
The Convener of the Economy Committee, Murdo Fraser MSP said:
“Scotland has a number of extremely successful industries whose products and services are sought after in many countries across the world.
“However, too few companies currently export to international markets and it appears that Scotland’s export potential is far from being fully realised. The Scottish Government also has an ambitious export target in place: this inquiry will determine if that is achievable.
“As a Parliament that holds the Government to account, we want to explore why more companies are not exporting. Freight and transport infrastructure is such a critical part of meeting Scotland’s export challenge so these inquiries are naturally related.”
The Deputy Convener of the Infrastructure Committee, Adam Ingram MSP said:
“The connectivity of Scotland to the rest of the world clearly has significant implications not only for the freight industry but for the Scottish economy as a whole, which is why these inquiries go hand in hand.
“Our Committee wants to understand some of the challenges facing the freight transport industry both within Scotland and in the movement of goods to and from Europe and worldwide.
“We will be looking to determine how Scotland’s road, sea, rail and air freight routes could be enhanced to deliver improvements in efficiency and increase the capacity of the sector.”
MSPs will also undertake a series of fact finding visits across Scotland to see for themselves the challenges facing businesses and the freight industry.
To find out how to contribute to the Economy, Energy and Tourism Committee’s inquiry please click here. To find out how to contribute to the Infrastructure and Capital Investment Committee’s inquiry please click here.