South of Scotland Export Partnership

The South of Scotland Export Partnership is a joint initiative by Dumfries and Galloway and Scottish Borders Chambers aimed at encouraging a stronger export-orientated focus among the businesses in the South of Scotland. Because of the business “demographics” of this vast area, emphasis is being placed on small and medium sized businesses.

The primary objective of the LEP pilot programme is to increase business engagement in the Exporting process.

In order to gain traction the LEP pilot will engage in a dedicated B2B messaging and marketing campaign that raises awareness of selected export service offers and provides the target audience with sufficient information to encourage them to rethink the opportunity to export.

The first step in the process is to conduct face to face interviews with a number of companies that are not exporting at present and to assess the barriers to understanding, before developing a strategy to assist in increasing the businesses knowledge and skillset to assist them in taking the first steps into exporting.

Economy Secretary Keith Brown said: “With Brexit looming, international trade and export has never been so vital to the Scottish economy, but it can seem daunting to businesses who haven’t yet ventured into the field.

“It is crucial that we maximise the help and support available to those firms – particularly the SMEs which are the lifeblood of our economy.

“These pilots will test new approaches to support businesses to export, opening a whole new world to companies and employers throughout Scotland.”

As outlined in the Scottish Government’s Trade and Investment Strategy, the pilot will use a collaborative, One Scotland approach. It will bring together individuals, businesses and agencies to promote an international business awareness and mindset, collaboration around shared trade objectives and mutual learning and support.”

Liz Cameron OBE, Director and Chief Executive of Scottish Chambers of Commerce, said:

“On behalf of the Scottish Chambers Network, we are delighted to have the opportunity to work closely with The Scottish Government and its agencies in this exciting new Local Enterprise Partnership.

“This new LEP will build on the strong partnerships we have recently forged with government in the field of international trade, which has already resulted in promising new routes to accessing important markets for Scottish goods and services, notably China.

“The combination of the Chambers’ network at grass roots and the experience and in-market expertise within government and its agencies is a powerful one. This LEP initiative allows us to show what can be achieved for exporters with a Team Scotland approach.”

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