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Strengthening key export links

SUCCESSFUL MISSION: Anne MacColl . . . met key industry players and visited Scottish companies operating in the Brazilian market
SUCCESSFUL MISSION: Anne MacColl . . . met key industry players and visited Scottish companies operating in the Brazilian market

Scottish Development International chief executive Anne MacColl sums up a successful week for this country’s business interests – particularly in the energy sector – in Brazil

Almost one year ago, Scotland’s oil and gas sector launched a strategy that set ambitious targets to increase sales from exports to £18billion by 2020.

We’ve already seen an impressive rise in international sales but our challenge now is to increase this activity at an even faster rate by supporting more companies to enter new markets and fulfil their growth ambitions.

We’re firmly focused on helping Scotland’s oil and gas sector meet that target through a range of international support like our forthcoming Australian Oil and Gas Smart Exporter event in Aberdeen and a comprehensive programme of trade missions to markets around the world like west Africa, the US, Australia and Brazil.

This week I have been in Brazil, leading a delegation of Scottish oil and gas companies to Rio and Macae.

Brazil is South America’s largest energy market and the planned investment by state-energy company Petrobras of £158billion, coupled with the exciting results of deep exploration drilling into the sub-salt strata, means Brazil is already firmly on the radar of many UK companies.

Over the past 40 years, Scotland has built up a global reputation in areas such as deepwater subsea technologies, health and safety and quality standards.

As a result, Scotland boasts a strong supply chain, skilled workforce, renowned academic sector and a well-developed energy infrastructure, and our experience means there are very real opportunities for Scottish companies in Brazil.

In particular, operating in the harsh conditions of the North Sea means that we have particular technologies and capabilities in relation to operating in challenging deepwater conditions. With about 90% of Petrobras’s production offshore in deep water and a need for innovative technology to extract the reserves and maximise production from pre-salt layers under the seabed, this is an area in which we are well placed to support Brazil’s ambitions. Over the past few days, I’ve had the opportunity to meet Scottish companies joining us on the mission.

We’ve announced the opening of our new office in Rio de Janeiro; met Firjan, the powerful industry lobby group for the state of Rio, and attended the UK Energy in Brazil showcase event organised by UK Trade and Investment.

I’ve also met key industry players, including Petrobas and visited a number of Scottish companies operating in the Brazilian market – such as Hydrasun and Wood Group – to better understand the opportunities and challenges they face. The insights are fascinating and the intelligence we are gathering will help serve Scottish companies seeking opportunities here in good stead.

As one of the world’s most rapidly developing economies, Brazil offers a wealth of opportunity and this week’s mission is helping our companies to build relationships. By increasing our presence, we can strengthen trade links between Scotland and Brazil and further explore the significant opportunities for wider partnerships across a number of industries for mutual economic benefit.

Almost one year ago, Scotland’s oil and gas sector launched a strategy that set ambitious targets to increase sales from exports to £18billion by 2020.

We’ve already seen an impressive rise in international sales but our challenge now is to increase this activity at an even faster rate by supporting more companies to enter new markets and fulfil their growth ambitions.

We’re firmly focused on helping Scotland’s oil and gas sector meet that target through a range of international support like our forthcoming Australian Oil and Gas Smart Exporter event in Aberdeen and a comprehensive programme of trade missions to markets around the world like west Africa, the US, Australia and Brazil.

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