The Scottish Secretary David Mundell started a four-day trade mission to South America, where he will be meeting politicians and business leaders in Uruguay and Chile. Mr. Mundell will be promoting trade links on the visit undertaken on behalf of the UK Government’s Board of Trade, and will be looking into how UK can support new post-EU trade opportunities in South America, promoting Scotland as a great exporter and the UK being open for business.
Ahead of his visit, Mr Mundell said the UK Government set up the Board of Trade to help identify and unlock new export markets and encourage further inward investment. With six months to go until UK leaves the EU, it is vital we continue promoting the UK abroad. South America provides a breadth of trade opportunities for UK companies, including oil and gas and food and agriculture.
Uruguay and the UK have a long history and enduring ties, and I believe our countries can learn from each other in many areas, including agri-tech. While in Chile I will discuss topics such as trade and innovation in the food industry with business leaders. What Scotland and the rest of the UK has to offer the world is exceptional, and I am confident this visit will help develop trading opportunities with South America.
British Trade Commissioner for Latin America and the Caribbean, Joanna Crellin, said that the UK's trading relationship with both Chile and Uruguay is on the up – increasing by 9.7% and 21.9% last year respectively – with more UK companies starting to see the vast potential offered by the region.
Latin America and the Caribbean have vibrant and dynamic economies, and as we look forward to a strengthened post-Brexit trading relationship, we will ensure that the benefits of increased trade and investment are felt in every part of the UK, including in Scotland.
While in Uruguay Mr Mundell will attend a #LoveisGREAT reception in to hear about the country’s strong progress on LGBT rights. He will also visit the British Council’s remote teaching hub to discuss how technology can support English language learning, and meet organizers of the World Angus Conference 2019 (Aberdeen Angus and Hereford are the dominant beef cattle breeds in Uruguay, introduced by British breeders over a century ago).
In Chile, Mr Mundell will meet Fundacion Chile to discuss innovations in the food industry, before speaking with the Minister of Agriculture to promote UK agri-tech.
Beverages were the top exported good from Scotland to LatAC (Latin America and the Caribbean) in 2017.