Scots Govt, SFE visit US to boost investment, trade

Angus Robertson

The Scottish Government’s external affairs secretary Angus Robertson will visit Washington and New York this week to promote Scotland to North America “as a place to live, work, study and do business.”

Robertson will also take part in Scottish diaspora and cultural events, including this year’s Tartan Day parade in Manhattan on April 6.

Scottish Financial Enterprise CEO Sandy Begbie will also visit New York this week to promote Scotland’s large financial sector, the second-biggest in the UK outside of London with about $1 trillion of assets under management and administration.

Robertson’s engagements will include meetings with tech companies who are investing or planning to invest in Scotland, a meeting with the World Bank to discuss Scotland’s funding for inclusive education projects in partner countries in Africa, and a Scottish Development International showcase of Scottish food and drink products to US buyers and distributors with the aim of increasing export sales.

Scotland’s direct exports to the US were worth £5.14 billion in 2021 and the US is Scotland’s biggest international export destination, receiving 16% of Scotland’s total exports.

The US is the top export market for Scotch Whisky, with a value of £978 million in 2023. Roughly 20% of all Scottish salmon export mass is exported to the US.

There are 655 US-owned enterprises in Scotland, employing 114,220 people, with a turnover of over £35.5 billion.

Robertson said: “Tartan Week is an opportunity to celebrate the Scotland’s historic ties with North America, which flourish to this day through cultural exchange, trade, investment and tourism.

“The US is Scotland’s most important international trading partner, as our largest export destination and source of inward investment, and our third biggest market for non-EU international students, with over 6,300 US students choosing to study here in 2021/22.

“I want to encourage greater connections, and greater trade and investment between our countries, which is why I’m meeting a range of existing and potential investors during my time in the US.

“As a showcase of Scottish culture and heritage in the US, Tartan Week is also a major opportunity for our culture and creative sectors to reach new audiences and markets, in line with our recently published international culture strategy, and our Scottish Connections Framework, which aims to strengthen Scotland’s links with our diaspora throughout the world.”