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Whisky industry worth billions to British economy: report

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Britain's whisky trade is worth over £5 billion (US$7.6 billion, 6.7 billion euros) to the economy each year and provides over 40,000 jobs, according to a study released on Wednesday.

[LONDON] Britain's whisky trade is worth over £5 billion (US$7.6 billion, 6.7 billion euros) to the economy each year and provides over 40,000 jobs, according to a study released on Wednesday.

The report by the Scotch Whisky Association (SWA) found that despite a slowdown in exports, billions of bottles of whisky were sold globally each year.

"Scotch whisky must be recognised as a cultural asset that boosts growth and jobs, supports communities and combines the best of the traditional and the modern," said SWA chief executive David Frost.

A statement from the British treasury called whisky "a huge British success story".

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Frost called for a two percent cut on whisky duties in the government's budget out in March. The government responded by arguing it had already helped by freezing taxes on whisky and other spirits in 2014.

The report found the whisky industry was worth £3.3 billion to the British economy, with its supply chain, packaging, and distribution worth another £1.8 billion.

The industry employs 10,900 people in manufacturing and distilleries, and supports about 30,000 jobs in its supply chain, the report found.

The whisky industry also accounted for three quarters of Scotland's food and drink exports, and the report stressed the importance of the trade as an employer in more rural areas.

AFP

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