Richard Knox, managing director of Verlume, is one of eight new members to have been appointed to an advisory group with the aim of growing Scotland’s exports and delivering on the objectives of ‘A Trading Nation’ (ATN), the new group met for the first time on Monday 13th June.

The membership of the Trade Board is deliberately business-focused and brings together a range of people with significant expertise and relevant experience in exporting activity from a variety of perspectives who give advice to the Scottish Government.

Since the launch of ATN in 2019, progress has been made by increasing investment in businesses to export from Scotland and expanding international networks to increase the reach and value of Scotland’s trade with the rest of the world. Exports have shown signs of strengthening over 2021, compared with 2019, Scotland’s onshore goods exports decreased by only 1%, in comparison, the UK as a whole saw an 8 per cent decrease.

The Trade Board will continue to help identify how to build on these foundations and return to an export growth trajectory, by delivering ATN and ensuring it continues to contribute to our National Strategy for Economic Transformation, through the development and delivery of Sector Export Plans on Technology, Life Sciences, Renewables and Hydrogen.

The role and remit of the board is to:

  • Provide industry and businesses with the opportunity to feedback to the Scottish Government on the delivery of A Trading Nation
  • Advise on long-term strategic, economic and environmental issues which may impact the target of exports making up 25 per cent of GDP by 2029

The new members, appointed by Trade Minister Ivan McKee, will join four continuing members on the group and will bring with them a wealth of experience and wide-ranging skillsets.

Richard Knox said: “I am delighted to have been selected to support this initiative and to have attended the first meeting of the board this week. Within Scotland, we have exceptional talent and capabilities which are competitive on the global stage.

“As part of this group, I would like to use my passion for renewable technology to encourage action on how we can promote the great work happening here in the energy transition, and use our expertise to support Scotland’s trading partners to help transition their economies with sustainable energy as we collectively work towards net zero.”

Trade Minister Ivan McKee said: “It is great to be able to announce the new members of the Ministerial Trade Board and I would like to welcome our new members on board.

“I am absolutely determined that the Scottish Government in partnership with business do all we can to boost export growth and realise international market and sector opportunities by delivering on the aims we set out in A Trading Nation back in 2019. Expanding our exports is absolutely essential in the wake of Brexit and the damaging effects on our economy of being taken out of the European single market, which is around seven times larger than the UK market alone.

“As set out in the National Strategy for Economic Transformation we want Scotland to benefit from a strong, green and thriving economy. I look forward to working closely with the Board, their innovative ways of working will be vital in helping inform on the best ways to meet our aims.”