MSP Joan McAlpine has welcomed the launch of an initiative aimed at boosting exports from the region.
The Scottish Government and Chambers of Commerce are launching a joint initiative to help businesses in Dumfries and Galloway increase their exports, supported by Scottish Government investment.
The Local Export Partnerships (LEPs) will be launched in five pilot areas: the Cairngorms; Inverness/Highlands and Islands; Dumfries and Galloway/Scottish Borders; Edinburgh/Lothian and Glasgow/Lanarkshire.
These will bring together Scottish Development International, local authorities and a range of local support organisations to offer support and expertise to companies, particularly SMEs, with little or no previous exporting experience and help them enter international markets.
The Scottish Government is providing up to £400,000 to the Scottish Chambers of Commerce to develop the pilot programme.
Commenting, Ms McAlpine said:
“The new Local Export Partnerships – a pilot initiative between the Scottish Government and the Chambers of Commerce – will be really important in helping to boost international trade and exports from the region.
“Our European neighbours are logically the first port of call for most exporters in Scotland, and yet the Tory plans for a hard Brexit will put barriers in the way of vital EU trade and a ‘no deal’ Brexit could impose prohibitive WTO tariffs on trade.
“With the Tories determined to drag us out of Europe against our will, our trading businesses in Dumfries and Galloway will need as much support as possible to increase their exports, and indeed businesses that are yet to start trading overseas need encouragement to start doing so.
“The LEPs will test new approaches to support businesses to export, opening a whole new world to companies and employers throughout Scotland.”