From tech to tourism, farming to fisheries – business is booming north of the border. And, with a space industry that’s set to be worth £4bn by 2030, Scotland is cementing its place firmly on the world’s business stage.
Sector at a glance
34% - The proportion of investment into Scotland in 2018 in the digital and business services sector
- £2.5bn - The value of Scotland’s space sector in 2017. by 2030, the industry aims to grow this to £4bn
- £14bn - The value of Scotland’s Food & Drink sector to its economy each year
Made in Scotland
With an approximate population of around 5.5 million, in 2019, Scotland’s GDP was £168.14bn. It also has one of the lowest unemployment rates in Europe at 4.3%. There are around 354,000 private sector enterprises currently operating in Scotland, and an estimated 99.3% of these companies are small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), providing
1.2 million jobs.
Scotland is also the most attractive location in the UK outside of London for foreign direct investment (FDI), according to the EY UK Attractiveness Survey 2020, and Scottish cities are thriving hubs for business. Glasgow, Edinburgh and Aberdeen feature in the top 10 cities outside London for FDI.
There are a wealth of sectors leading the way in Scotland, with Scotland’s Economic Strategy identifying those sectors where it has a distinct comparative advantage. These are: Food and Drink (including agriculture and fisheries); Creative Industries (including digital); Sustainable Tourism; Energy (including renewables); Financial and Business Services; and Life Sciences.