Why International Trade Is More Important Than Ever
1st December 2017
It has never been more important for businesses in the Highlands and Islands to target global markets, writes Martin Johnson, HIE's head of international trade and investment.
At the same time global markets have never been more accessible to the region, so we are in a good place.
With Brexit high on the media agenda and at the forefront of many minds across all business sectors, Scotland's and the UK’s future place in the world remains uncertain. While we do not know what lies ahead, we can confidently predict significant change for just about every sector of our economy, whether tourism, food and drink, life sciences, energy or creative industries. Therefore, businesses need to do what they do best - promote and sell their products and services.
The Highlands and Islands has a very strong track record of international trade, from the earliest days of selling seafood and agricultural products, to more recent times of medical supplies and globally attractive tourism destinations. There are many examples in every part of the region of businesses that have traded across all quarters of the globe.
Now, with the massive improvements in digital and mobile connectivity, transport and infrastructure, there is huge growth in e-commerce; selling and delivering products and services online.
The transport of people and goods is quicker, easier and more affordable. There is global growth in the middle classes, with money to spend on fine food and drink or holidays, many of whom will see the Highlands and Islands as an attractive prospect. This strengthens, and provides new opportunities to building on, the region’s existing international reputation for quality.
At Highlands and Islands Enterprise our role is to help businesses get the information, advice and support they need to "Brexit-proof" themselves and reach out to the world. Through our programme of events businesses can find out about market opportunities in countries that might be of interest to them and how to go about pursuing these opportunities.
We provide advice and information on all aspects of international trade, and can help towards the costs of expanding global business activities. Our website at www.hie.co.uk hosts a wealth of useful information, self-help guides, and signposting to other sources of support.
A new report has called for more promotion of Scotland's aquaculture sector and supply chain as a rewarding long-term career choice, particularly for young people and for women. The ‘Skills review for the Aquaculture Sector in Scotland' was commissioned by Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) on behalf of the Aquaculture Industry Leadership Group (AILG), and in collaboration with Skills Development Scotland.
More than half (53%) of Highlands and Islands businesses plan to take on new staff in the coming year, and most plan to recruit them from within the region, new research has revealed. Over 1,000 firms took part in the latest quarterly business panel survey carried out by Highlands and Islands Enterprise in February.
Scotland's leading creative industries festival, XpoNorth, has unveiled the next wave of speakers for the one-of-a-kind event this summer in Inverness. Taking place 27-28 of June 2018, XpoNorth 2018 will see a range of leading voices from across the national and international creative industries gather in the Highland capital to deliver one of the most exciting, inspiring, informative and unique events of its kind.
Individuals, businesses and community groups in and around 14 communities in the Highlands and Islands have an extra two weeks to take part in an online survey on rural banking services. Among other things, the survey asks about the importance of being able to withdraw and deposit cash locally, experiences of using Post Office and mobile banking services, and the perceived impacts of local branch closures.
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The University of the Highlands and Islands is inviting applications for a new North Coast 500 studentship. The PhD opportunity has been developed by the university's Centre for History in partnership with the North Coast 500 initiative.
If your business is already selling online, or you're thinking about starting an online sales operation, why not be business brave and consider the international marketplace? With the right information, set-up and skills, your business could capitalise on the wealth of opportunities available beyond the UK!. Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) invites you to attend a FREE one-day workshop, 'Selling Online Internationally', where you can learn how to increase international sales through your website.
Gavin Mackay, HIE's head of energy industries, reflects on the opportunities and challenges facing the region's energy sector. At the launch of Oil and Gas UK's 2018 business outlook in March I was invited to use their event portal to pose questions and give my ‘multiple choice’ view of the future of the UK Continental Shelf (UKCS).
HIE a' cur fàilte air Plana Cànain Nàiseanta Gàidhlig ùr Tha Iomairt na Gàidhealtachd ’s nan Eilean (HIE) a’ cur fàilte air am Plana Cànain Nàiseanta Gàidhlig ùr 2018-23 a chaidh fhoillseachadh aig Pàrlamaid na h-Alba an-dè (Diciadain 28 Màrt). Share Tha am Plana a’ sealltainn mar a thèid fàs a thoirt air a’ Ghàidhlig aig ìre nas luaithe ann an Alba.
The Highlands and Islands Food and Drink Awards 2018 are calling for entries from businesses across the region. The award's fifteen categories will be open for nominations and entries until the 15th June.
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