THE First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, will be one of the keynote speakers at this year’s Scottish Export Awards ceremony in Glasgow on Thursday.
The annual black-tie dinner brings together businesses from across Scotland to recognise and celebrate their entrepreneurial exporting achievements.
Among this year’s shortlisted firms are Marine Harvest, the Scottish Salmon Company and Aqualife Services.
Exporting and international trade remain central to the Scottish government’s economic growth agenda and Sturgeon will use the event as a platform to praise those involved and to encourage other businesses to explore the potential of exporting.
Speaking ahead of the event, she said: ‘We already have a significant number of companies from Scotland enjoying fantastic success in exporting their goods and services to a range of markets and countries.
‘But we want more to join them. Growing the value and range of our exports is a priority for the Scottish government and will help make our economy more prosperous.
‘The businesses shortlisted in these finals show the strength and diversity of our economy, representing all sectors, locations and sizes, and these awards provide an excellent opportunity to showcase and celebrate all that they have achieved in the past year.
‘I hope others are inspired to follow them into international markets – contacting Scottish Development International to obtain expert advice and support is a great place to start.’
Marine Harvest and the Scottish Salmon Company are both in the running for the Large Exporter of the Year prize, while Marine Harvest is also up for the High Growth Markets Exporter of the Year, and the Scottish Salmon Company has been shortlisted for the Most Entrepreneurial Exporter of the Year award.
Other Scottish shortlisted firms include Aqualife Services, nominated alongside St James Smokehouse for the Small Exporter of the Year accolade.
St James Smokehouse is also vying for the Export Team of the Year award, with John Ross Jr Aberdeen.
The awards, sponsored by HSBC in association with Scottish Enterprise and Highlands and Islands Enterprise and run by BQ magazine, feature companies from Shetland to the Scottish borders.
Scottish salmon exports were valued at a record £600 million in 2017, according to the latest HMRC figures.
The winners of the Scottish Export Awards will be announced at the Hilton Hotel in Glasgow this Thursday.