Research reveals steep rise in Public Sector spending on international engagement


The amount of money spent by Scotland’s public sector on key areas of international engagement has increased by 54% in the last five years, according to research published today by the European and External Relations Committee.

The findings, produced to inform the committee’s inquiry into the Scottish Government’s international engagement strategy, show that between 2004-5 and 2009-10 spending in this area increased by £10.4million, and more than double the rate of increase in public sector spending overall.

The finance covers areas including office overheads, trade missions, marketing, grants and funding to other organisations.

Scottish Development International accounts for the largest amount of public sector money spent on international activities in 2009-10, with the figure standing at £12,850,000 or 43% of the overall spend.

This is followed by the Scottish Government, VisitScotland and the Scottish Qualifications Authority, who in 2009-10 spent £7,626,000, £5,370,000 and £1,884,000 respectively on international activities.

Committee Convener Irene Oldfather MSP said: “Along with the rest of the European and External Relations Committee I look forward to the presentation of the report at our meeting on Tuesday when we will have a chance to explore the figures in more detail.”

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