Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon is visiting North America this week to strengthen trade and cultural links between Scotland and the US and Canada.
The visit comes as new figures show the US remains Scotland’s top export destination country, with an estimated £5.5 billion of exports in 2017 – up by 11.1% from the previous year.
Canada continues to be a top 20 export destination worth £580 million in 2017.
This will be the first visit to Canada by a First Minister in more than ten years.
Sturgeon will undertake trade and culture engagements in Washington DC, New York, New Jersey, Ottawa and Toronto during the five-day visit.
These include an address at Georgetown University to discuss Brexit and Scotland’s future and the launch of the Scotland is Now campaign in Canada.
Sturgeon said: “Scotland has a longstanding relationship with North America across family, friendship, culture and business.
“The latest figures released just this week show how important our trade relationship with North America is for our economy.
“This visit will build on the existing links between our countries and provide new opportunities for us to work together and learn from each other’s expertise in areas including climate change, renewables and gender equality.
“With the shadow of Brexit hanging over our economy, it is more important now than ever to reassure businesses that Scotland is an open and welcoming country and an attractive place to invest in, visit and live.”