Trade missions to overseas markets


Did you know, 99% of potential market opportunities exist outside Scotland? A world of opportunity awaits in emerging high growth international markets.

Scottish Enterprise's Business Trade Missions programme offers you an excellent platform to visit an export market, conduct market research, appoint an agent/distributor or to visit existing clients.

You can explore new horizons in fast-growing markets around the world backed by support of Scottish Development International (SDI) and UK Trade and Investment (UKTI) experts.

Register your interest on Scottish Enterprise's website for full details and dates. 

Are you eligible?

The Scottish Business Trade Missions programme is open to all Scottish-based companies across all business sectors.

In order to get a trade mission travel grant we need to ensure:

  • Your company is either new to export and/or has been exporting for less than 10 years
  • You have been working with an international trade adviser or equivalent on some form of trade development activity
  • Your company is fully prepared for a trade mission and has completed sufficient market research before heading out to the country
  • If you don’t fit the above criteria then please contact us by completing the enquiry form to find out more as you may still qualify for support.

What's involved?

Funded trade missions allow Scottish companies like yours to explore opportunities in key markets as part of an organised group across a range of business sectors.

They play an important role, giving you the chance to experience markets, make valuable contacts and see first-hand how business is done in those countries so you can better develop your international business strategy.

The programme will help you to:

  • Learn practical aspects of doing business in target markets
  • Network with business support intermediaries
  • Meet and connect with Scottish Development International and UK Trade & Investment staff with local market expertise
  • Boost your profile with key customers to gain a competitive advantage
  • Develop relationships with potential customers, agents/distributors
  • Conduct market research and test a new market
  • Launch new products
  • Tap into cross-sector collaborative opportunities
  • Realise you ambitions and make things happen

How does a mission work?

Scottish Enterprise runs trade missions in all of the world’s major regions and led around 70 missions last year.

Their skilled network of international trade and UK partners based in British Embassies, High Commissions and Consular Offices around the world play an important part in trade mission success. They can help you tap into this valuable resource.

Their local language skills, market knowledge and extensive political and commercial contacts put them at the heart of our Trade Mission programme to help companies like yours become successful exporters.

Eligible companies may receive funding and support  to attend a mission including:

  • Pre-event planning admin and follow-up support
  • Travel and accommodation discounts
  • Visa application (where necessary)
  • Mission programme development
  • Financial grants
  • Market research and insights
  • Access to local networks and business contacts
  • Tips on marketing and promotion

How much will it cost?

There is no fee to join a trade mission. What's more, a travel grant is available for eligible companies towards travel and accommodation costs.

Subvention funding from UKTI is available for all Scottish companies up to £300 for European missions and between £500 and £800 for missions outside Europe.

How to prepare for a trade mission

A trade mission will usually follow an initial market research exercise. This research is vital in helping you to identify the appropriate opportunities and to maximise the value of your visit. And we can help.

Our advisers can help you get a snapshot of local market and sector opportunities or take advantage of our in-market support to help you fully exploit opportunities.

For further details please complete the enquiry form on Scottish Enterprise's website.


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