SWA ceo David Frost yesterday (August 25) met with secretary of state for international trade Dr Liam Fox to discuss Scotch whisky exports.
The meeting at the SWA’s Edinburgh headquarters covered the role the Scotch whisky industry plays in the UK economy.
Frost and Fox discussed the potential impact of ‘Brexit’ on the Scotch whisky industry and the wider economy.
About £3.8bn worth of Scotch was exported last year, while £1.2bn – almost a third of the total – was shipped to the EU.
‘New free trade deals’
“The secretary of state and I discussed the need to focus on pursuing an ambitious set of new free trade deals with export markets, while also ensuring we continue to enjoy the trade benefits already secured for Scotch whisky through existing EU arrangements,” said Frost.
“This is particularly important as the UK prepares to leave the EU and we look to grow Scotch whisky exports.
“We have a wealth of knowledge and experience of international trade policy and legal issues built up over many years.”
The Scotch whisky industry generates about £5bn each year for the economy and invests £1.7bn in its supply chain, almost all of it based in the UK and supporting 40,000 jobs.
20% of all UK shipments
Scotch represents around 20% of all UK shipments of food and drink overseas.
“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,” added Frost.
“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.”
The SWA was a major player in the campaign to remain in the EU and said that Brexit would cost the Scotch whisky industry more than £1bn in lost exports.
The GREAT Britain campaign
The GREAT Britain campaign showcases the best of what the UK has to offer to inspire the world and encourage people to visit, do business, invest and study in the UK.
It is the Government’s most ambitious international promotional campaign ever, uniting the efforts of the public and private sector to generate jobs and growth for Britain.
The campaign has already secured confirmed economic returns of £1.9bn for the UK.
Taken from the GREAT Britain campaign website.