Government targets new markets for Scotch

Government targets new markets for Scotch
Credit: Scott Jessiman Photo

Whisky is one of the UK’s three most important food and beverage exports, and as the nation reports its best ever first half it’s critical that new markets are unlocked for Scotch.

To that end, the UK Government is working to reduce export tariffs on Scotch whisky and other landmark Scottish produce as the nation leaves the EU.

Scottish Secretary David Mundell recently met with representatives of the Scotch Whisky Association and Diageo at the Caol Ila distillery on Islay to discuss how the UK Government is laying the groundwork to reduce export tariffs on Scottish produce.

Whisky is worth around £5 billion to the UK economy, and accounts for three quarters of Scotland’s total food and drink exports.

The UK Government is ensuring that, as we leave the EU, the industry is able to tackle tariffs and boost overseas sales.

The Department for International Trade has already established 11 working groups to strengthen trade and commercial ties with key trading partners around the world, including: the United States, Australia, China, India, Mexico, South Korea and the Gulf Cooperation Council.

Ministerial trade dialogues have also been established with Taiwan, Vietnam, India, Kazakhstan and Brazil.

Mr Mundell said: “Scotch whisky is a world-class product, globally recognised for its quality and heritage, and the industry employs thousands of people in Scotland and around the rest of the UK.

“By strengthening ties with key partners, identifying new markets and tackling tariffs, the UK Government is paving the way towards an even brighter future for Scotland’s whisky industry.

International Trade Secretary Dr Liam Fox said: “For scotch whisky, export tariffs currently range from zero to over 150%.

“The UK Government is looking at how future trade agreements could reduce export tariffs for iconic Scottish goods such as scotch, smoked salmon and gin.”