Scotland business

One in 20 Scottish businesses 'foreign-owned'

workers Image copyright Thinkstock

One in 20 businesses in Scotland is foreign-owned but they generate a third of output, according to new data.

The Scottish government figures show there are nearly as many foreign-owned manufacturers as there are Scottish-owned, by 44% to 45%.

The Scottish Annual Business Statistics cover 2014, and are the most recent update on the make-up of Scottish business.

They show Aberdeen and Fife both have more manufacturing output than Glasgow.

In retail, Glasgow - with 14% - came ahead of Aberdeen and Edinburgh, both with 10%.

The figures also show the sectors of the economy which have contributed most and least. The finance sector and some parts of agriculture are not included.

They showed Gross Value Added (GVA, which is close to Gross Domestic Product) in the service sector came to £51bn.

Manufacturing totalled more than £13bn and construction £6.6bn.

The main contributors within services included retail trade at £6.9bn, engineering and architecture at £5.3bn and wholesale trade at £4.6bn.

In manufacturing, the biggest sector was the drinks industry - which includes whisky - at £2.1bn, or 15% of total manufacturing GVA.

Image copyright Scotch Whisky Association
Image caption The biggest sector in manufacturing was the drinks industry, which includes whisky

Food products, including fisheries, came to £1.7bn and metal products £1.5bn.

Aberdeen was reckoned by Scottish government statisticians to have an eighth of Scotland's manufacturing value added, followed by Fife and then Glasgow.

The foreign ownership of companies has become particularly important to Scotland, as inward investment has replaced traditional heavy industries.

And with plans being drawn up for the UK's exit from the European Union, that is seen as a discouragement to investors, who may no longer have unfettered access to Europe's single market.

In the service sector, foreign-owned businesses accounted for 22% of GVA and 14% of employment. Businesses based in Scotland and owned in the UK represented 57% of GVA and 69% of employment, while those based elsewhere in the UK accounted for 21% of output and 20% of employment.

In tourism, both Edinburgh and Glasgow had 15% of the nation's value added, and Highland had 8%.

It represented 15% of the non-finance business economy in the Western Isles, but 4% across the country.

Construction had the lowest level of foreign ownership, representing only 5% of jobs and 6% of value added.

In the primary sector, which includes oil and gas production as well as energy utilities, foreign ownership accounted for 68% of value added and 42% of employment.

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