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Nick Clegg praises Scotch whisky on exports

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg has praised the Scotch whisky industry on its global exports, which are heading for a record year

At a visit to the Strathisla distillery in Keith, home to Chivas Regal whisky – the biggest selling Scotch in China, Clegg announced that global exports of Scotch whisky have increased by 12% in the first 10 months of 2010, with shipments totalling £2.8m between January and October.

He said: “I would like to raise a toast to the Scotch whisky industry, as 2010 shapes up to have been a record year for exports.

“The dynamic Scotch whisky companies are making great strides to exploit new markets and new opportunities and the UK Government will continue to do whatever we can to assist them. We signed an agreement with China late last year to ensure there is greater legal protection for whisky in that country. I know from my talks in Scotland today that fair market access and tariff liberalisation in relation to India is a major priority in 2011.”

The full 2010 export data will be available later this year, but it was confirmed that in the first 10 months of the year there were significant increases in exports to the important emerging markets in Brazil, Russia, India and China. Compared to 2009, Scotch whisky exports to those four countries grew as follows: Brazil up 11% to £55m; China up 46% to £48m; India up 65% to £32m; Russia up 118% to £27m.

The Scotch Whisky industry makes a vital contribution to the Scottish economy –distillers support over 40,000 jobs and contribute in excess of £1bn in tax revenue. Many local communities – from Glasgow to the Highlands & Islands – are supported by the global success of Scotch whisky.

Gavin Hewitt, CEO of the Scotch Whisky Association, said: "Scotch Whisky represents a quarter of all British food and drink exports and makes a significant contribution to the UK balance of trade. The industry and Government work closely on securing fair access to our export markets. That is vital to Scotch whisky's continued global success and its contribution to export-led economic growth. We are delighted to have the opportunity to discuss our trade priorities with the deputy Prime Minister during his visit."




1 January 2011 - Felicity Murray