Scottish exporters are continuing to score important points in the campaign to win new overseas customers and jobs for thousands of unemployed Scots.
The Glasgow-based Lyle Shipping Company is reported to have won a three-year contract from Esso for diving work in Australia's Bass Straight offshore petroleum industry. Lyle shipping is also hoping to land contracts for exploration activities off the East Coast of the United States, Canada, and China.
Another Scottish firm, Fios, based near Edinburgh, is making a determined drive to bring quality sleeping products to thousands of Americans. Fios has taken over the Boston-operated Comfort Pillow and Feather Company as part of its scheme to introduce European bed wear to US stores.
A production manager near here has said that Fios is going into high gear to supply a large number of duvets, European-style quilts. Trial marketing tests of the duvets - which are said to be superior to the US-made eiderdowns - have proved very promising in the US.
Another significant Scottish development that may also have an international spinoff is a plan to build a fish-meal plant at Barra Island off Scotland's rugged west coast. West coast fishermen and Norwegian and Danish trawlers fishing blue whiting would be able to offload their catches at the new Scots fish factory.
The fish-processing plant would create sorely needed jobs in a part of the West Highlands badly affected by the poor condition of the United Kingdom's fishing industry. A few communities have been threatened with collapse.
And it is this crisis in the affairs of local communities that has made the giant United Biscuit Company want to get more involved in helping out wherever it is involved in production. United Biscuits, which has major investments in the US, has indicated that it is willing to invest up to 5 percent of its pre-tax profits in community projects involving work creation and minority groups in the U.K.
The British Biscuit Company, which has consistently supported good industrial relations policies and staff consultation, is expected to show a significant increase in profits this year.