Scottish Chambers International Trade Partnership Programme

Derek MacFeate, Founding Managing Partner, MM Search

International business opportunities have grown significantly for many businesses over the past 18 months; we have placed candidates and sought out executives from more than 30 countries globally – not something we might have predicted would happen! So, I was intrigued by the recent Scottish Chambers International Trade Partnership (ITP) Programme, which aims to support businesses in trade partnerships overseas.

The event kicked off earlier this month with Inverclyde Chamber hosting its first official trade mission to Colombia…sadly, there was no visit to South America!

The virtual event was undoubtedly a worthwhile experience and a real eye-opener to the opportunities in South America. Many don’t know this, but Colombia is ranked second in Latin America for ease of doing business, and it is ahead of India, South Africa, Vietnam and Indonesia internationally (DIT LATAC, 2021). It also has the fourth-largest economy and the third-largest population in Latin America (World Bank, 2019). It has been named an attractive emerging economy and robust market for British exports.

As Scotland’s first commercial mission to South America, it aimed to maximise current opportunities in Colombia for Scottish businesses, encourage exports of products and services, and strengthen business links with the South American nation.

Establishing international connections that will create new opportunities for our clients and support their growth and expansion into overseas markets is front of mind for us, so this event ticked many boxes. The biggest takeaway is that there are many critical opportunities for business in the UK, and the mission highlighted the sectors that could see the most opportunity, with renewables, food and drink, and infrastructure cited as the most lucrative.

Inverclyde Chamber also identified several other overseas trade opportunities in markets including Spain and Miami Beach, so we are looking forward to more missions and opportunities to follow in due course.