Scotch Whisky and the Department for International Trade - working together to increase exports

25 Aug 2016

Scotch Whisky Association (SWA) chief executive David Frost today met with the Secretary of State for International Trade, Rt Hon Dr Liam Fox MP, to discuss opportunities to grow Scotch Whisky exports.
 
The meeting at the SWA's Edinburgh headquarters covered the important role the Scotch Whisky industry plays in the UK economy.  Scotch Whisky is Britain's biggest net goods export - without it the country's trade deficit would be 11% larger.
 
The meeting comes at a crucial time following the decision by the UK to leave the European Union (EU).   David Frost and Dr Fox discussed the potential impact of 'Brexit' on the Scotch Whisky industry and the wider economy. Of the £3.8 billion worth of Scotch exported last year, £1.2bn - almost a third of the total - was shipped to the EU, so planning for the future outside the EU is of great importance to the industry.
 
And it is vital to discuss the possible effect of leaving the EU on Scotch Whisky given its significance to the UK. The industry generates around £5 billion annually for the economy and invests £1.7bn in the Scotch Whisky supply chain, almost all of it based in the UK, and supports 40,000 jobs.  In terms of exports, Scotch Whisky represents around 20% of all UK food and drink shipments overseas.
 
David Frost, Scotch Whisky Association chief executive, said:

"The Secretary of State and I discussed the need to focus on pursuing an ambitious set of new free trade deals with export markets, whilst also ensuring we continue to enjoy the trade benefits already secured for Scotch Whisky through existing EU arrangements.  

"This is particularly important as the UK prepares to leave the EU and we look to grow Scotch Whisky exports. I took the chance to explain that the industry is taking a very close interest in the arrangements for trade after Brexit. We have a wealth of knowledge and experience of international trade policy and legal issues built up over many years.
 
"In recent years the Scotch Whisky industry has been at the forefront of UK Government efforts to grow exports, playing a key role in the GREAT campaign.   I welcomed the focus on improving market access for our products and we look forward to working closely with the new International Trade Department in the future."
 
Ends
 
With media enquiries please contact David Williamson, SWA public affairs & communications director, 0131 222 9226 or 07730 496 151 or email dwilliamson@swa.org.uk.