Scotland's economic links with the rest of the world were successfully strengthened in 2010, with exports increasing by £355 million to reach £22 billion.The ninth Global Connections Survey shows that manufacturing exports rose by £595 million, enough to offset a drop in service exports.

The top five exporting industries, accounting for around 60 percent of total exports, were food and beverages, chemicals, business services, electrical and instrument engineering and mechanical engineering.

The United States remains the top destination for Scottish exports with the Netherlands, France and Germany the next most lucrative markets.

Trade with the rest of the UK remains strong with exports worth over £44 billion in 2010, including £24 billion in service exports and £13 billion in manufacturing exports.

John Swinney, Scotland's Finance Secretary, welcomed the latest figures and stressed the need for continued activity to sustain exports: "This latest survey shows welcome growth in Scottish exports, but in the current economic climate we cannot be complacent. Strengthening Scottish exports benefits the economy and also builds on Scotland’s attractiveness as a place for international trade and investment. The refreshed Government Economic Strategy, published in September 2011, set an ambitious target to deliver a 50 per cent increase in the value of international exports by 2017."

Anne McColl, chief executive of Scottish Development International, said: "These figures clearly demonstrate Scotland's strong reputation on the global stage. The increase in exports of £355 million since 2009 is hugely encouraging and is a real testament to the collaborative work of Scottish Development International and our key partners. Now more than ever, we are operating in a global economy. Scottish Development International is committed to working with our partners to continue to raise Scotland's international aspirations and develop a more global perspective in order to drive long-term sustainable growth."

Scotland's top exports:

  • Food and beverages - £4 billion
  • Chemicals - £3 billion
  • Business services - £2.5 billion
  • Electrical and instrument engineering - £1.9 billion
  • Mechanical engineering - £1.6 billion

Scotland's top export markets:

  • USA - £3.5 billion
  • Netherlands £2.4 billion
  • France - £1.5 billion
  • Germany - £1.3 billion

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