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Scotch whisky industry unaffected by recession

The whisky industry in Scotland, one of the most popular in the world, has not been affected by the economic downturn because of developing overseas markets, especially in India, China and Brazil, a report said. Whisky has become one of Britain's biggest exports at a time when the country's economy was ailing.

india Updated: Jan 05, 2012 15:57 IST

The whisky industry in Scotland, one of the most popular in the world, has not been affected by the economic downturn because of developing overseas markets, especially in India, China and Brazil, a report said.

Scottish whisky exports increased by 23 percent last year, Sky News reported. Whisky has become one of Britain's biggest exports at a time when the country's economy was ailing. The drink is now worth over 4.5 billion pounds (Rs 370 billion) a year.

WineEvery second, 125 pounds (around Rs 10,300) are being poured into the British economy through revenue and jobs centred around whisky.

"Obviously their economies are doing very, very well. There's a growing middle class which obviously has growing disposable income," said Iain Weir, marketing director of the Gelngoyne Distillery, near Loch Lomond in Scotland.

"They are aspirational with regards to their consumption and I'm delighted to say whisky, and in particular single malt whisky, is very much on their shopping list. I think they very much appreciate the history and the provenance and authenticity that comes with Scotch whisky," he said.

But there is also a concern that if such a demand continues, it could outrun supply. Rosemary Gallagher, from the industry's governing body, the Scottish Whisky Association, says distillers were prepared. "Companies have seen this demand coming and have planned ahead. Scottish whisky is a long term industry. So companies have invested one billion pounds in infrastructure in the last five years, expanding distilleries and opening new warehouses, so we're geared up for demand," she said.