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Why expand in the EU?

Why expand in the EU?

Consider the advantages of exporting to the EU

As an experienced exporter, you may already be operating in EU markets and other markets globally, and looking at the potential for your company to grow in the EU given the current favourable Sterling to Euro exchange rate for exports. 

Why the EU?

47% of all international exports from Scotland (excluding exports to the rest of the UK) go to countries in the EU market (worth £16.1 billion). France, The Netherlands, Germany and Belgium are consistently among the top export markets for products and services from Scotland.  

Scotland's top EU export destinations

  • France £3.0 billion
  • The Netherlands £2.8 billion
  • Germany £2.5 billion
  • Belgium £1.3 billion

Source: Export Statistics Scotland 2018

Gather information on EU markets

Our free market research service can help signpost you to relevant EU information, such as initial competitor analysis and the potential of a new market to credit checks on potential partners or customers in EU and other markets. 

We can provide a range of support to help you identify the right market opportunity for your product or service, including:

  • Market guides
  • Global market intelligence
  • Competitor insights
  • Credit rating checks
  • Industry trends and forecasts
  • Consumer demographics
  • Supplier databases
  • Live opportunities 
  • Finding the right partners and contacts

Make a market research enquiry

We can also help you access a wide variety of sector and consumer market reports, and individual EU market guides. 

Other free resources include:

'Doing Business Guides' on the Institute of Export & International Trade website

Expand your connections

Scottish Development International and our partners at Department for International Trade (DIT) have offices in key markets across Europe.  Local specialists there will provide information on how to do business in each market to help identify the right market opportunity for your company. 

EU export opportunities on the Exporting is GREAT website

Many Scottish and UK trade associations have strong links into EU markets, as does the Scottish Chambers of Commerce.

And don't forget our GlobalScot network – an invaluable resource for Scottish businesses to tap local insight and experience into doing business in individual EU markets.

Realise your potential in EU markets

Once you've decided where the priority EU markets are for your company, to either enter or grow, then you may want to consider going out to the market to further explore the potential. 

You can visit the market independently, or consider SDI and DIT led market visits and learning journeys to the EU markets over the coming year.

You may also be eligible for support to attend or exhibit at targeted trade shows and exhibitions in EU markets.

Help is also available to:

  • Find agents and distributors in your chosen markets
  • Sell online into the market either directly or through online marketplaces
  • Establish a company presence in your selected EU markets

Search our events

The UK-EU trade agreement and what it means for your business

Scotland’s enterprise and skills agencies urge all companies to actively learn how to adapt to the new business environment now that the UK has left the EU.

Get the latest on the UK's EU exit - find resources, advice, webinars and services to help you develop your plans.

Contact us

Got any questions about EU opportunities or expanding in new markets? Our experts are here to help.


All information provided on this web page is for general guidance only. The contents of this guide have been provided by our training partners, Upper Quartile. Upper Quartile is not affiliated with any of the third parties or listings represented on our website. Third party listings are drawn from public domain and industry body data sources. Due diligence on a given third party or listing remains the exclusive responsibility of the end user. Whilst every effort is made to ensure the accuracy of the details represented, Upper Quartile and Scottish Enterprise cannot endorse, recommend or accept responsibility for any transactions conducted between the user and a given third party or listing provided on this web page.