Maureen Watt MSP, Convener of the Scottish Parliament’s Infrastructure and Capital Investment Committee, has pledged support for the continuation of the Rosyth-Zeebrugge Ferry Service.
The Convener was speaking at a two-day event ‘Business to Business Scotland Flanders’ held in Brussels this week.
She said: “The Scottish and European trade markets continue to be interlinked. In fact, over half of Scotland’s exports are destined for Europe.
"The value of these exports, which is growing year-on-year, is £11.4 billion – nearly €13 billion. Just as notable perhaps though, is the scope that there is for Scotland’s trade with Europe to be maximised.
“The Committee will do what it can to support the continuation of the Rosyth to Zeebrugge ferry service.
"We will continue to encourage the Scottish Government to look at ways to support haulage firms and to develop trade lin with northern Europe.
“The Scottish Government has a target of reaching £12.5 billion turnover in the food and drink sector by 2017, a £2.5 million increase on previous targets. The Rosyth to Zeebrugge ferry service can help achieve this goal, and indeed is key to this growth.
"We all need to up our game in marketing and publicising the ferry route to a wider audience and encourage more westbound import traffic into Rosyth.
“I urge the ferry operators to look at ways to make the timing of the sailings, particularly those on Sundays and Mondays, more suitable to attract haulage firms to use the route. We cannot risk losing this link. That would not be in the interests of Scotland or our partners in northern Europe.”
The Business to Business Scotland Flanders initiative was organised by SEStran and is an example of transnational collaboration within the Food Port Project, with partners from Scotland and West Flanders joining forces to support their local businesses in their activities abroad.
The statistics on Scottish exports are contained in the Statistical Bulletin issued by the Scottish Government