Reappraising Scotland's exports and their geographies : Brexit and beyond

Kalafsky, Ronald V. and Brown, Ross (2018) Reappraising Scotland's exports and their geographies : Brexit and beyond. Fraser of Allander Economic Commentary, 42 (3). ISSN 2046-5378

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    Firms internationalise to expand and diversify their sales, while policymakers see exports as a means of promoting productivity and economic growth. Exports therefore receive an increasing amount of attention given these positive attributes. Within this context, this paper presents data on the geographies and dynamics of Scotland’s export patterns. It shows that Scottish exports are highly concentrated within a small number of global markets, with Scottish firms exhibiting a decreasing reliance on exports to the European Union. Only a small minority of Scottish SMEs export and the majority of these firms derive less than a quarter of their sales from international markets. These lines of enquiry are presented within the context of the impending departure of the UK from the European Union and what this might mean for Scotland’s exporters. The paper ends with some indicative policy recommendations.