SCDI has an unrivalled track record in delivering international trade activity for Scottish organisations.

Since our first visit to Moscow in 1960, through our 50th anniversary year in 2010 of international trade promotion, SCDI has excelled in creating and supporting market-focused international trade visits for Scottish businesses and organisations.

Over a significant period, SCDI has organised and led in excess of 370 trade visits comprising around 6000 participants to in excess of 50 markets worldwide. SCDI is dedicated to doubling Scottish exports over the next decade, and increasing the number of Scottish based businesses trading internationally.

SCDI International Business Summit 2017 
'Scottish Business: Rising to International Challenges' (Thurs.21 Sept 2017)

In Glasgow on Thursday 21 September 2017 , SCDI convened a Summit of Scotland's business leaders to identify opportunities for the country to fulfil its global economic potential in a post-Brexit environment.

The annual SCDI International Business Summit brought together leaders from key sectors across the Scottish economy and expert speakers from government and industry. The summit on the theme of 'Scottish Business: Rising To International Challenges' examined the landscape surrounding Scotland's international trade and considered the critical foundations that will help to form a post-Brexit trade agenda for the Scottish economy.

Click here for further information & for Summit details here.

SCDI International Business Roundtable
with Foreign & Commonwealth Office Heads of Missions

In Edinburgh on 4 July 2017, SCDI was delighted to convene a group of our business Members representing a cross-section of the Scottish economy, including food & drink, manufacturing, engineering, textiles, professional services, finance, technology, distribution, the space sector, and city region deals to meet with a group of 10 Heads of Missions (HOMS) from the Foreign & Commonwealth Office in advance of their senior postings to a wide diversity of overseas locations. The session was kindly hosted by The Scotch Whisky Association.

This visit to Scotland was part of the HOMS engagement with all constituent parts of the UK, in order that their voice overseas is able to fully reflect devolved interests. Discussions focused on concerns and challenges which businesses in Scotland face, and where business and government are able to work together, particularly in what is a more complex and less predictable environment. (UK Govnt info for UK businesses on how to identify & mitigate security & political risks when trading overseas is available here).

Michael Urquhart, Chair of SCDI's International Business Committee, said: "This week's Scottish GDP figures will again highlight the fundamental need to encourage and enable more Scottish businesses to export or increase their exports, especially SMEs. Brexit will mean that Scottish exporters and every part of the UK's and Scotland's international networks need to seek to develop new opportunities around global markets. The chance to brief, as they take on new postings, a wide range of the UK's overseas diplomats about what they can do in-market to support the Scottish economy is therefore very welcome."

SCDI Roundtable International Discussion with Visiting US Embassy Economic Officers

Members of SCDI's International Business Committee representing a cross-sector of the Scottish economy, including food & drink, aerospace and professional services, were kindly hosted by the US Consulate General Edinburgh for a private roundtable business discussion around internationalisation matters on 30 March 2017 with visiting Economic Officers Joseph Burke and Dustin Salveson from the US Embassy in London.

SCDI Host Roundtable Discussion
with HE Ethiopian Ambassador Dr Hailemichael Aberra

SCDI was delighted to host a Roundtable Discussion for His Excellency Dr Hailemichael Aberra, the Ethiopian Ambassador to the UK on Wed.8 March 2017. H.E Dr Aberra was joined by a delegation of his colleagues from the Ethiopian Embassy in the UK, based in London. Their visit to Scotland was facilitated by Prof.John Struthers of the University of the West of Scotland, who is Honorary Consul for Ethiopia in Scotland. The discussion focused on a number of key issues around both education and business in and with Ethiopia, including challenges and opportunities, economic and cultural aspects. Ethiopia - 'Land of Origins' - is one of the fastest-growing global economies.

Business Briefing - Brexit: The Practicalities for UK Importers & Exporters

Wednesday 14 December 2016 (08.30 for 09.00 - 11.00) - SCDI, Glasgow

Delivered in partnership with Santander this Business Briefing, including advisers from Global Counsel, will focus on the practicalities of Brexit for UK Importers & Exporters and those in trading supply chains. The session will provide trading SMEs with further clarity of the potential impact of Brexit on their trade activities, including changes to tariffs, rules of origin and paperwork. It will also help SMEs identify the potential challenges and opportunities that lie ahead, under potentially very different trading conditions (and how to plan for them).

Places are limited & are reserved for SMEs currently engaged in Import & Export activity.
To request a place at this roundtable event, please contact:

Exporting is GREAT - Interactive 'Export Hub' Tour of Scotland (23 Aug - 8 Sept 2016)

The UK Government's unique interactive Export Hub will again tour Scotland during late summer 2016, bringing a world of insight, inspiration and overseas opportunity right to the doorstep of Scottish businesses.

Exporting is GREAT's Export Hub - a mobile flexible events space - is continuing travelling the length and breadth of the UK giving free face-to-face support and guidance to first-time exporters, using the latest technology to connect businesses with export opportunities. As the Export Hub makes its second tour of Scotland, weaving its way around 8 locations in Scotland (23 August to 8 September 2016) regional staff from the Dept.for Internatioal Trade, Scottish Enterprise and Exporting is GREAT partners will be on hand to engage and support Scottish companies like yours at a local level.

Find out how to Book your free 'Export Hub' place here.

International Business Summit 2016 - 'Global Ambition: Sharing & Building Export Success' (Wednesday 8 June 2016)

Following our successful inaugural International Summit in 2015, we are delighted to announce that our International Business Summit 2016 will take place on Wed.8 June 2016 in Glasgow and will build on key themes from SCDI's recently published Blueprint for Growth & Prosperity 'From Fragile to Agile' which has identified Internationalisation as one of Scotland's key economic priorities for future growth.

This year's Summit 'Global Ambition: Sharing & Building Export Success' will focus on delivering business-led export growth for Scotland's economy, with a focus on helping existing exporters to build on their successes; and encouraging and supporting new exporters to take their early steps with confidence. The Summit will showcase some of Scotland's leading exporters and discuss the practical measures which lead to successful exporting. 
Click here for further details.

Exporting is GREAT - Interactive 'Export Hub' Tour of Scotland (29 Feb - 4 March 2016)

The UK Government's unique interactive Export Hub will tour Scotland during early 2016, bringing a world of insight, inspiration and overseas opportunity right to the doorstep of Scottish businesses.

Exporting is GREAT's Export Hub - a mobile flexible events space - is travelling the length and breadth of the UK giving face-to-face support and guidance to first-time exporters, using the latest technology to connect businesses with export opportunities. As the Export Hub makes its way around Scotland (29 February to 4 March 2016) regional staff from UKTI, Scottish Enterprise and Exporting is GREAT partners will be on hand to engage and support Scottish companies like yours at a local level.

Find out more here.

SCDI Strategic Roundtable Discussion
with the UK Ambassador to Italy, Christopher Prentice CMG

SCDI was delighted to host a Strategic Roundtable Discussion for the UK Ambassador to Italy, Christopher Prentice CMG on Tues.1 December 2015. Italy has a long-standing trade relationship with the UK and is currently the UK’s 7th largest trading partner with exports worth £8m annually. Italy is also a market of strategic significance and is regarded as the gateway to the Mediterranean and a crossway to Europe, Africa and the Middle East. The Roundtable Discussion was attended by a diverse range of Scottish companies who have an active interest in the Italian market. The discussion focused on a number of key issues around doing business in Italy including challenges and opportunities alongside economic and cultural issues.

After the roundtable discussion, the Ambassador visited SCDI member company Tennents (C&C Group) for a tour of their facilities and a discussion on their international business activity in Italy. Italy is Tennent’s largest export market with sales of Tennent’s lager in Italy rocketing 57% to 3.6m litres a year since the brewery resumed exports in 2012.

For further information on SCDI's International Programme, please contact Siobhan Hazlett, International Trade & Investment Manager, SCDI.

Scotland's Export Potential

BBC Radio Scotland's 'Business Scotland' programme, broadcast on 8 & 9 August 2015, included a special feature regarding Scotland's export potential and challenges. Ross Martin, SCDI Chief Executive was interviewed as part of this broadcast, and highlighted some of the stellar Scottish performers in international trade from our recent SCDI International Business Summit.

You can currently listen to the feature via BBC iplayer at this link: 
(Ross Martin's interview runs from 8min 26sec - 13min 30sec)

International - Spring/Summer 2015 Updates

SCDI's team have been involved in a variety of International activity over the spring and summer 2015 months, including our International Business Summit 2015, UKTI Web Optimisation Workshops in the Highlands & Islands and North East, and hosting international trade discussions with the Ethiopian Ambassador and the Minister Counselor for Economic Affairs at the U.S. Embassy (London). Details of these activities can be found here. 

Web Optimisation for International Trade - Inverness & Aberdeen

SCDI is delighted to continue our work with UKTI in delivery of another two Workshops on Web Optimisation for International Trade on 25 June 2015 in Inverness; and 26 June 2015 in Aberdeen, being re-runs of the successful fully-booked workshops held recently in the central-belt. Details of the 25 June H&I event here.  &  Details of the 26 June NE event here.

International Business Summit 'Scotland: Driving Global Ambition' - Friday 12 June 2015


The SCDI International Business Summit 2015 - 'SCOTLAND: DRIVING GLOBAL AMBITION' will bring together leading figures in Scotland's international business community.

Providing a high-level forum for senior representatives, this business summit will explore how Scotland can maximise its performance in international markets -sharing the experience and insights of successful global players, setting an industry-led agenda to fulfil Scotland's capabilities and encouraging more Scottish businesses to be confident in pursuing international opportunities.

This one-day SCDI International Business Summit - delivered in partnership with Bank of Scotland, Brodies LLP, Edrington and Scottish Salmon Producers Organisation - on Friday 12 June 2015 and being held at Fairmont St. Andrews will hear from a variety of leading exporters and explore Internationalisation themes.

To access full Summit details please click here and to book delegate places contact Siobhan Hazlett, SCDI's International Trade Executive.

China-Scotland Business Breakfast

We are delighted to be working with the University of Glasgow again to deliver another 'China Scotland Business Breakfast' for our members on 21 April 2015 in Glasgow. For full details of this event please click here.

Web Optimisation for International Trade

SCDI is delighted to again have worked with UKTI to deliver another Workshop on Web Optimisation for International Trade on 24 March 2015 in Glasgow, a re-run of the successful fully-booked workshop held during November. Details here.

SCDI International Roundtable Discussion with Lord Livingston, Minister of State for Trade & Investment, UK Government

SCDI welcomed Lord Livingston, Minister of State for Trade & Investment, at an International Trade Roundtable Discussion with our members on 5 February 2015 in Glasgow.

Please click here to access full details.

Internationalising Scottish Business Inquiry - January 2015

In January 2015, SCDI submitted a response to the Economy, Energy & Tourism Committee of the Scottish Parliament in relation to their inquiry into Internationalising Scottish Business. Please click here for further details.

International - Spring 2014 Updates

SCDI's team have been involved in a variety of International business activity during Spring 2014, including work with the Hong Kong Trade Development Council; Enterprise Ireland re opportunities for innovation and collaboration; and the University of Glasgow on China-Scotland relations.  Full details of these activities can be found here. 

International Trade Visits

SCDI is developing its International Trade Programme for 2015 and further details of the forward programme will be made available shortly. For FAQs regarding our Trade Visits, please view the Trade Visits PDF in the Document Archive opposite.

SCDI has visited a wide range of international markets over more than 50 years of delivering successful Trade Visits. You can view details of our Trade Visit History in the Trade Visit History PDF in the Document Archive opposite. 

Key Market Contacts

SCDI works closely with expert advisers in Scotland and in market, to direct our Trade Visit participants to sources of professional expertise and support at critical times. Useful details can be accessed in our Key Market Contacts PDF in the Document Archive opposite. 

Contact Us - International

Should you have any queries, or require further information regarding the SCDI International Trade programme, then in the first instance please contact:

Vince McKeown - Director of Commercial Operations

t. +44 (0)141 222 9722
f. +44 (0)141 221 2835

Twitter: @scdiglobal 
LinkedIn: SCDI International Trade Programme

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