China visit marks launch of International Trade Strategy
Minister to outline Scotland's investment potential to key overseas market
Enterprise Minister Jim Mather will travel to China this week to meet several existing and potential investors in Scotland as a major International Trade and Investment strategy for Scotland is launched.
Mr Mather will join representatives of Scottish Development International from 22-26 March for a series of business engagements in Beijing and Shenzhen.
The visit will mark the launch on Monday of Scotland's new five year Trade and Investment Strategy to boost international trade links, attract investment from key overseas growth markets, and promote Scotland's credentials as an internationally competitive business location. The strategy aims to deliver up to 2 billion pounds of net additional GVA to the Scottish economy through trade and investment activity by 2015.
During his visit the Minister will build on the Scottish Government's ongoing engagement with Chinese aviation leaders to promote prospects for a direct air link between the two nations; and meet with several key business contacts and existing and target investors across a range of sectors to showcase the investment opportunities Scotland has to offer.
Mr Mather will join representatives of Scotland's food and drink industry at an EU food and drink event to promote the international appeal of authentic Scottish produce to the Chinese market.
The Minister will also witness a signing agreement between Historic Scotland and the State Administration of Cultural Heritage of China, which will establish an historic tomb site in Beijing as one of five international sites to be digitally mapped as part of the Scottish Ten Project.
Mr Mather said:
"International trade and investment is vital to Scotland's economy and is an integral part of the Scottish Government's growth plans.
"As our new Trade and Investment Strategy outlines, we must do all we can to build on the strong relations we enjoy with other countries, to further raise Scotland's profile as a globally competitive and innovative nation, and to support Scottish businesses looking to expand into overseas markets.
"SDI will lead the implementation of the strategy, which involves public and private sector partners working together to equip up to 10,000 more Scottish businesses with the skills to go international, and will support up to 35,000 jobs through the attraction of foreign investment by 2015.
"My visit to China presents a valuable opportunity to support these aims through direct engagement with this key emerging growth market. That is absolutely in line with the Scottish Government's own growth strategy, which is firmly focused on helping Scottish companies expand into key growth markets, like China.
"While there I will be looking to build on Vice Premier Li Keqiang's recent visit to Scotland and a series of recent successful negotiations which have highlighted the strengthening of ties between our two nations, and will pave the way for major expansion potential which could deliver exciting prospects for the Scottish economy.
"These include the development of a strategic partnership between INEOS and PetroChina that is supporting jobs and investment at Grangemouth refinery; the recent agreement to allow Scottish salmon exports into China for the first time; China's decision to give Scotch Whisky legal protection with a Geographical Indication of Origin (GI) status; and the transfer of two giant pandas to Edinburgh Zoo as part of China's breeding programme.
"The Scottish Government is committed to taking robust action to secure growth for Scotland's economy by further strengthening our relationships with China and overseas markets across the globe. Our new strategy outlines how we will take forward this important work."
Anne MacColl, chief executive of Scottish Development International, said:
"By attracting foreign investment into Scotland and helping Scottish companies to trade internationally, we have a huge opportunity to make a long-lasting, significant impact on the Scottish economy.
"Although we are now seeing signs that Scotland's economy is strengthening there will undoubtedly be new challenges and opportunities which we will need to respond to, and we must continue to inspire international ambition among Scottish companies and nurture the already strong relationships that Scotland has with the international investment community.
"The expertise of our staff based across our global network of 22 overseas trade and investment offices is a highly valuable resource for Scottish companies and potential inward investors, and together with our Scottish-based teams, and our partner organisations, we are using every avenue to deliver even better results for Scottish exports.
"This strategy gives clear direction which will allow us to make the right decisions as we move forward, working in partnership with our Team Scotland partners to deliver greater economic growth for Scotland."
Scottish Development International is the trade and investment arm of the Scottish Government, Scottish Enterprise and Highlands and Islands Enterprise.
The new International Trade and Investment Strategy will be published on Monday March 21, 2011 and will be available at: www.sdi.co.uk/tradestrategy. Advance copies of the strategy can be made available to media on request. Please call Ruth Andrew on 07768 615154 to request a copy.
SDI helped more than 900 companies enter new international markets during 2009-10. More resources are being invested to help thousands of firms across Scotland to internationalise through the 7.6 million pound Smart Exporter project - delivered jointly by Scottish Chambers International and SDI.
The Scottish Ten is an ambitious five year project to use cutting edge technology to create exceptionally accurate digital models of Scotland's five UNESCO designated World Heritage Sites. Historic Scotland and Glasgow's School of Art's Digital Design Studio are using laser scanners to create a range of digital imagery that will aid in the conservation, maintenance and management of these globally important sites. In addition to the five sites in Scotland - The Heart of Neolithic Orkney; The Antonine Wall; the Old and New Towns of Edinburgh; New Lanark and St Kilda - the team will also record five international sites.
Duty Communications Officer - 0131 556 8400
To request an advance copy of the Trade and Investment strategy call Ruth Andrew on 07768 615154.