PLACES has been recruited on Scotland’s first in-person trade mission to the United States since the start of the pandemic, as businesses look to new markets.
Over 20 Scottish SMEs have registered to join the International Business Partnership (ITP) missions of the Scottish Chambers of Commerce in New York and Miami. Organizers from the Forth Valley Chamber of Commerce (FVCC) and Inverclyde Chamber of Commerce (ICC) described the adoption as “unprecedented interest”.
Leading companies from sectors such as technology, sports and entertainment, food and beverage and the creative industries are joining the trade missions – including drinks companies Glaswegin, Ardgowan Distillery and The Drinks Bakery – with leaders welcoming the opportunity to forge new transatlantic ties with potential partners in the United States.
Other delegates making the trip include technology company Lupovis, Harris Tweed, golf accessories craftsman Mairead Hume, creative marketing and PR agency Story Shop and award-winning global strategic branding agency MadeBrave.
Missions will include a series of networking events and meetings, as well as participation in the famous Tartan Day Parade in New York in April, which returns for the first time since 2019.
Miami Mission delegates will also compete in tennis at the ATP Masters 1000 Miami Open, enjoying a tour of Hard Rock Stadium before the action.
Lynn Blaikie, President of the Forth Valley Chamber of Commerce, who is leading the New York mission, said: “The level of interest in the New York mission shows how seriously forward-thinking Scottish SMEs are taking the need to operate in new markets.
“The pandemic has forever changed the way we do business, and the companies that adapt the fastest – regardless of size or industry – will be the ones that emerge the strongest.
“Technology has made working with international partners possible for all businesses, but the importance of forging these relationships in the right way remains of paramount importance. That’s why we’ve seen so many people eager to join the mission and get off to a good start in one of the world’s most exciting markets for Scottish business.
Lisa Matthews, Distiller at Ardgowan Distillery, which recently secured £12m to build a new distillery on the Ardgowan estate, Inverkip said: ‘About 93% of Scotch whiskey is exported, and America is a very important for whiskey in general, and especially so as we are looking for distributors for our blended malt Scotch whisky, Clydebuilt Shipwright.
“When you think of Scotland, you think of whiskey, so I think there will be massive demand. The fact that we are going there in person means there is a little more personal touch. We’re excited about the business opportunities in Florida and New York, and the opportunity to participate in the Tartan Week Parade while putting faces to names, it’s a huge opportunity.