SWA to join Prime Minister on first visit to Africa
26 Aug 2018
Karen Betts, Chief Executive of the Scotch Whisky Association,
will accompany the Prime Minister on her first official visit to
The SWA has been chosen to showcase the best of UK business on a
delegation made up of 29 representatives from across the whole of
the United Kingdom.
Visiting South Africa, Nigeria, and Kenya over the course of the
trip, they will meet with leading businesses, policy makers and
entrepreneurs in order to build new investment, trading and export
ties between the UK and these emerging markets.
Prime Minister Theresa May
"Scotland's trade outside the EU is going from strength to
strength, with an increase of over half a billion pounds in exports
to these markets earlier this year.
"Scotch Whisky is known the world over for its quality and
heritage, and I want to see Scottish industry make the most of the
opportunities that lie ahead in the vibrant, emerging markets
"That's why I am leading this delegation to show off the UK's
unique offer to our African partners, and I am delighted that the
Scotch Whisky Association will be joining me to further boost the
reputation and growth of Scottish trade overseas."
Karen Betts, CEO of the Scotch
Whisky Association, said:
"I'm delighted to be able to join the Prime Minister on this
trade delegation to Africa. It's a great opportunity to showcase
the heritage, craft and quality of Scotch Whisky in markets with
significant potential for growth in the years ahead.
"Exports of Scotch Whisky to Africa increased by over 13% last
year, with double-digit growth in both South Africa and Kenya. Yet
Africa accounts for just 4.5% of global Scotch Whisky exports, so
there is plenty of scope for further expansion.
"Importing to Africa can involve a good deal of bureaucracy as
well as complex tariff and non-tariff trade barriers, which tend to
stifle growth. I hope this visit will support the industry in
helping remove some of these difficulties, and help Scotch to
compete on a level playing field with local products.
"I look forward to discussing these issues in Africa and with
the Prime Minister and senior officials so that the UK's largest
food and drink export can continue to flourish in new markets."
The Scotch Whisky industry supports 40,000 jobs across the
United Kingdom, including 7,000 in rural areas of Scotland.
Earlier this year, the Scotch Whisky Association successfully
registered 'Scotch Whisky' as a trademark in South Africa, their
seventh largest market by volume. Nearly 100 bottles are shipped to
South Africa every minute, highlighting the ever growing demand for
Scottish products on the continent.
Africa is developing fast; more than half of the anticipated
growth in global population between now and 2050 is expected to
occur in Africa, and according to the International Monetary Fund,
African economies are amongst the fastest growing in the world,
making it a significant trading and investment partner for the
During the visit, the Prime Minister will set out how new
partnerships between the UK and Africa can add value to the UK
economy, create new market opportunities for British businesses,
and boost jobs and prosperity for the benefit of all.
Scottish Secretary David Mundell
"Scotch Whisky is an iconic product, one which is enjoyed right
around the world, and is immensely valuable to the UK's
"It's great news that the Scotch Whisky Association will join
the Prime Minister on her first official visit to Africa. As we
leave the EU we will be able to negotiate new, global free trade
"The UK's exceptional and sought-after produce - of which whisky
is such a fantastic example - will be a key part of those future