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Last Updated: Wednesday, 5 April 2006, 11:38 GMT 12:38 UK
Scottish export decline continues
Worker with circuit board
The electronics sector in Scotlland has had mixed fortunes
The value of goods made in Scotland and sold overseas has continued to decline.

Latest figures from the Scottish Executive show that manufactured exports shrunk by 1.8% in 2005, despite a slight growth in the last quarter.

The electronics industry was mainly responsible for the growth in export sales from 1995 to 2000 but has since been responsible for the largest fall.

Deputy Enterprise Minister Allan Wilson said that, excluding electronics, the figures showed a 3.5% exports increase.

The statistics showed that export sales went up by 1.9% in the last quarter of 2005.

Chemicals proved to be the main industry driving the growth with a quarterly increase of 7.8%.

'Less positive'

The main industry showing growth in export sales over the year was drink, with an annual rise of 7.1%.

Mr Wilson said: "I am encouraged to see an increase in exports over the final quarter of 2005 - the second consecutive quarter of growth.

"I recognise, however, that the performance over the year is less positive."

He said it was important to recognise the positive performance of the chemicals and electronics sectors over the last quarter which accounted for 44% of total manufactured exports.

Since 2000, the level of manufactured export sales has fallen by 36%. This represents an average quarterly decline of 2.2%.

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