The Scottish Government today signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the city of Shenzhen in China’s Guangdong Province, with the aim of delivering benefits in areas including trade, science, culture, education and tourism.
Cabinet Secretary for Justice Kenny MacAskill, who signed the memorandum of understanding on behalf of the Scottish Government along with the Vice Major of Shenzhen, Mr Zhang Wen who is currently visiting Scotland, said the agreement would help build on the significant links Scotland has already developed with China.
Mr MacAskill said:
“Building on the First Minister’s visit to Shenzhen last year, the signing of this co-operation agreement today marks a significant step in further developing Sino-Scottish relations.
“As with previous MoUs with Shandong and Tianjin, it will assist Scottish businesses in creating links with counterpart organisations in Shenzhen. The MoU is an agreement to strengthening friendship between the people of Shenzhen and Scotland, through enhancing exchanges and cooperation.
“China is extremely important to Scotland – and Shenzhen is one of the most important and developed cities in China. With a population of 10 million, and one of China’s strongest municipal economies, there is much for Scotland to gain – but I believe Shenzhen can benefit from our relationship too.
“I look forward to our two administrations working together even more closely in the future.”
Shenzhen has been pinpointed by Scottish Development International (SDI) as offering the single biggest trade and investment opportunity of China’s 274 provincial cities, particularly in the areas of research and development, new product development and in the introduction of Scottish innovation to hi-tech services.
The city is the hi-tech and manufacturing hub of southern China, the world’s fourth-busiest container port, China’s fourth-busiest airport and one of the most popular tourist destinations in China.
During his visit to China in December 2011, the First Minister met with the Mayor of Shenzhen, Mr Xu Qin, and discussed establishing closer links between Shenzhen and Scotland in the areas of business, trade, science and technology, financial services, culture, tourism, education, sport and health.