OPPORTUNITIES await Ross-shire businesses in Europe’s biggest economy, attendees at a Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) seminar have heard.
The Doing Business in Germany event was the latest move by HIE to develop more international trade for businesses.
As the fourth largest export market for Scotland, Germany has a gross domestic product of more than €3 trillion. There is a strong appetite for important Scottish sectors such as technology, engineering, life sciences, creative and digital services and HIE is urging Scottish businesses to capitalise on this.
Johannes Augustin, regional manager for Central Europe and Nordics at Scottish Development International (SDI), provided a market overview and spoke of opportunities for businesses. Other speakers included SDI export adviser Stewart Miller, Michelle Hardie, European business services manager of Enterprise Europe Network, and Ewan Ramsay, head of international trade at Inverness Chamber of Commerce.
Dolphin Spirit, a boat trip based in Inverness Marina, is already exploring the potential of links with Germany, thanks to grant funding from HIE to take part in a VisitScotland’s business development mission.
Managing director Yvette Hogan said: “The support available through HIE has been invaluable to our business as we look to grow, both in the UK and international markets.
“We’ve received practical, trustworthy advice on how best to sell our services overseas, and we were able to the put the knowledge into practice during the business development mission to Hamburg and Stuttgart last year when we met with local operators to gain a better understanding of the German market.
“With the help of HIE, Dolphin Spirit is able to showcase to the international market the best that the Scottish Highlands and islands have to offer.”
Businesses aiming to expand into trade with Germany could benefit from a market visit to Germany in June.
Martin Johnson, HIE’s regional head of international trade, said: “With a wealth of opportunity and a strong demand for Scottish expertise, the German market is an ideal target for businesses in the Highlands looking to develop trade links.
“At HIE, we can provide the support, information, advice and funding to grow your business. We would encourage businesses of all sizes in the region to sign up to capitalise on the opportunities that lie in the German market.”