UAE biggest importer of Scottish goods

01 April 2015

The UAE was the biggest importer of Scottish products, accounting for more than a third of goods the nation shipped to the Middle East in 2013.

Scottish imports into the Middle East were $2.2 billion, of which the UAE’s share was worth $894 million, according to the most recent Global Connections Survey from Scottish Development International (SDI), the Scottish Government’s investment and business development agency.

The UAE’s imports were up 22 per cent compared to the previous year.

The GCC’s economic growth and modest inflation combined with its broad-based commitment to helping companies do business in the region have contributed to increased figures of exports from Scotland to the Middle East. This was driven primarily by the food and drink, energy, business and financial services, metals and mechanical engineering sectors.

Tom Marchbanks, regional manager Middle East, Scottish Development International, said: “Trade figures clearly show that the Middle East has remained a key market for Scottish companies, with food and drink being a particular success story and with a growing demand on energy, education and financial services.” He added that the UAE had scored particularly well in imports compared to larger markets in the region.”

“Scotland has always provided an immense pool of talent that has spawned world leading products and services across the globe. The Middle East and especially Dubai has a vast demand for quality products and services,” he said.

“We have witnessed Scottish food and drink companies launching new products at Gulfood exhibition in Dubai; this clearly demonstrates an increasing appetite in the Middle East market. Also, with significant money being invested in the education sector in the region this presents fantastic opportunities for Scottish education suppliers,” he added.

Marchbanks concluded: “We are aware of the competition for inward investment, and we continue to increase our resources in new and emerging markets so we can respond to global opportunities.”

The Middle East is considered as a priority market for Scotland. Over the past few years, Scotland has had multiple visits from Scottish ministerial and senior SDI teams coming over to the GCC to be part of major exhibitions and conferences.

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