Scotland has traded with China for centuries. Today, stronger commercial links between our two countries mean greater trading opportunities for both. Scottish exports to China hit a record-breaking £605 million: the value of Scotland’s exports to China in– an increase of 118% over a five-year period. Chinese businesses also benefit from trade links with Scotland, and commercial collaborations between partners based here and in China are growing in frequency.

Global demand for Scottish products and expertise

Exports ranging from textiles to technology carry Scotland’s name around the globe, reinforcing our worldwide reputation for quality. We supply a remarkable variety of goods and services – both traditional and cutting edge.

Scottish textiles have an enviable clientele, including Chanel, Mulberry, Louis Vuitton, Prada and other leading fashion houses. We export our tartans and tweeds, lace and leather to more than 150 countries. We took Gore-Tex to the world. Garments made in Scotland – such as cashmere and lambswool knitwear – also have a global following.

Heavy industry once produced much of the goods we exported to China. Many of our exports today are the product of pioneering research and precision engineering – whether in energy, life sciences or technology. A 10 million USD green energy deal signed in 2011 took technology developed in Scotland to China for use in an energy conservation plant.

Scotland’s expertise in education has helped to establish new universities in emerging markets. Our financial acumen has led to the development of sophisticated financial and insurance products used globally.

Almost two-thirds of Scotland’s total exports relate to the food and drink, chemicals, business services, electronics and instrument engineering, and mechanical engineering sectors.

Fresh Scottish salmon is exported to nearly 60 countries.

About 25% of UK food and drinks exports are Scotch whisky.

Scotland exports textiles to more than 150 countries.

Food and drink exports in focus

Scotland’s fresh waters are responsible for two of our biggest exports: Scotch whisky and Scottish salmon.

Scotch whisky accounts for 80% of our food and drink exports. We sell whisky in around 200 markets worldwide, exporting 40 bottles every second of every day. China is one of the fastest growing markets for Scotch whisky, which was granted Geographical Indication of Origin status by China in 2010, to protect it from counterfeit products.

Scotland exports its famous Scottish salmon to 60 countries. China has a real taste for our fresh salmon – it’s our third most important export market for the delicacy. Since securing an export health certificate in 2011, Scotland has been able to export salmon direct to China. Chinese exports are now worth around £90 million from a standing start six or seven years ago

We’re one of Europe’s largest seafood producers, and the third largest producer of farmed Atlantic salmon in the world. More than two-thirds of the world’s langoustines – destined for the menus of some of the finest restaurants – are also sourced in Scotland.

The premium quality and flavour of Scottish produce means that our food and drink exports are growing. Countries the world over are getting a taste for our outstanding dairy produce, quality craft beers and traditional baked goods, among other delights.


We can help your business to build trade links with Scotland, whatever your industry sector. Impartial advice from our trade advisers can help you to understand business practices in Scotland and make the most of the opportunities and support available here.

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