NAIROBI, KENYA: One of Scotland’s most important trade bodies will accompany the Prime Minister on her first official visit to Africa.
The Scotch Whisky Association has been chosen to showcase the best of UK business on a delegation made up of 29 representatives from across the whole of the United Kingdom.
Visiting South Africa, Nigeria, and Kenya over the course of the trip, they will meet with leading businesses, policy makers and entrepreneurs in order to build new investment, trading and export ties between the UK and these emerging markets.
Prime Minister Theresa May said:
Scotland’s trade outside the EU is going from strength to strength, with an increase of over half a billion pounds in exports to these markets earlier this year.
Scotch Whisky is known the world over for its quality and heritage, and I want to see Scottish industry make the most of the opportunities that lie ahead in the vibrant, emerging markets across Africa.
That’s why I am leading this delegation to show off the UK’s unique offer to our African partners, and I am delighted that the Scotch Whisky Association will be joining me to further boost the reputation and growth of Scottish trade overseas.
Karen Betts, CEO of the Scotch Whisky Association, said:
I’m delighted to be able to join the Prime Minister on this trade delegation to Africa. It’s a great opportunity to showcase the heritage, craft and quality of Scotch Whisky in markets with significant potential for growth in the years ahead.
Exports of Scotch Whisky to Africa increased by over 13 per cent last year, with double-digit growth in both South Africa and Kenya. Yet Africa accounts for just 4.5 per cent of global Scotch Whisky exports, so there is plenty of scope for further expansion.
Importing to Africa can involve a good deal of bureaucracy as well as complex tariff and non-tariff trade barriers, which tend to stifle growth. I hope this visit will support the industry in helping remove some of these difficulties, and help Scotch to compete on a level playing field with local products.
I look forward to discussing these issues in Africa and with the Prime Minister and senior officials so that the UK’s largest food and drink export can continue to flourish in new markets.