Speaking ahead of his attendance at an SDI and SCDI trade mission in Manhattan this afternoon, First Minister, Alex Salmond described increasing Scottish business links with the United States as a “key economic priority”.
America is Scotland’s most successful overseas export market and the relationship presents huge opportunities for businesses on both sides of the Atlantic, according to the First Minister.
Mr Salmond also emphasised the importance of building on Scotland’s success thus far at attracting inward investment, as recognised for the second consecutive year in the Ernst and Young 2012 Attractiveness Survey.
The most recent Ernst and Young survey revealed Scotland once again as the top destination in the UK for foreign direct investment, outperforming every other part of the UK in generating employment from foreign direct investment (FDI). The survey reported almost 6,000 positions were created in Scotland during 2011 – a 50 per cent increase on the previous year, making it once again the UK’s leading location for FDI job creation. The survey compares jobs created across the 12 nations and regions of the UK.
Today’s Manhattan trade mission is part of the First Minister’s Scotland Week programme of economic and business events in New York and Washington DC this week, aimed at increasing exports, employment and investment in Scotland. Run by SDI – the international arm of Scottish Enterprise – the trade mission will also visit Canada next week for a two day business development programme in Toronto.
“The United States continues to be Scotland’s biggest source of inward investment and remains Scotland’s biggest export market. Indeed, the American export market was worth £3.5 billion to Scotland in 2011 – an increase of more than a third since 2007,” said Mr Salmond.
Anne MacColl, chief executive of Scottish Development International, said, “As Scotland’s top export destination, the USA continues to present significant opportunities for Scottish businesses to trade overseas.
“This week’s mission forms an important part of our ongoing work with companies to help them translate these opportunities into tangible business growth.”
“The companies joining us on the mission will be able to develop and strengthen relationships at a senior level, across industries which continue to show high demand for Scottish products and services.”