A national series of events is taking place this week to encourage and help businesses looking to export – as part of UK Trade & Investment Export Week from Nov 12-16.
Scottish exports were found to be worth £22 billion at the beginning of 2012, an increase of £355 million since 2009.
In partnership with Scottish Development International (SDI), Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) are holding two Smart Exporter courses this week – ‘Introduction to Developing your International Tourism Markets’ and ‘Preparing to Export: Introduction’.
These are part of a package of support designed to help any business, from those thinking of exporting for the first time to businesses already exporting but considering targeting new markets.
Charlotte Wright, HIE’s Director of Business and Sector Development, said: “HIE works with SDI to help businesses in the Highlands and Islands develop their international trade. A wide range of support services are available to assist businesses who are entering new markets for the first time or looking to expand their overseas operations.
“If researched well, exporting can be very cost effective and bring huge boosts to businesses. With SDI, we can help companies access a wide range of invaluable knowledge, facts and figures about markets around the world."
Representatives from nine companies attended the first day of the ’Introduction to Developing your Tourism Markets’ course yesterday (Tuesday). They included Robert Ward, Co-ordinator from Spey Bay based charity the Scottish Dolphin Centre and Jim Davis, Managing Director of Moray-based outdoor activity provider Ace Adventure.
Robert commented: “We are now in the second year of a marketing strategy and recently won Marketing Campaign of the year at the Highlands and Islands Tourism Awards. We decided to join the course as are now looking to raise awareness of the Centre and increase both our international visitors and donations.”
Jim continued: “We have quite a low percentage of international visitors so we are really looking at ways to boost those numbers and attract more customers from overseas. It is useful to see all the information on topics like market analysis and research put together.”
Smart Exporter is delivered by Scottish Development International in partnership with Highlands and Islands Enterprise, supported by the European Social Fund.