FM attends Scotland Week


First Minister Alex Salmond is to attend Scotland Week in New York for the first time in five years.

The First Minister last attended Scotland Week in 2008 and is returning this year to promote Scotland on the world stage through business and tourism engagements, as well as fulfil invitations to undertake a number of high-level speaking engagements at some of the United States’ most prestigious institutions.

Princeton University, one of the oldest in the US; the Carnegie Council for Ethics in International Affairs and the Brookings Institution a nonprofit public policy organisation recently voted US think tank of the year will all host the First Minister. It is expected he will set out the vision for an independent Scotland and its role as a responsible global citizen.

The week-long US visit will also focus on encouraging economic investment in Scotland and the First Minister is expected to announce a number of economic initiatives during his time in New York and Washington DC.

The first leg of the visit in New York will see the First Minister attend an SDI trade and industry reception, deliver speeches at the Carnegie Council and Princeton, and undertake a number of high-level  business meetings.

The First Minister will also attend the launch of VisitScotland’s Homecoming 2014 tourism campaign focusing on the US market.  This will look to build on the £53.7million in additional tourism revenue for Scotland generated in 2009, when the first Homecoming took place.

The First Minister said:

“The launch of Homecoming 2014 and the events held during Scotland Week in New York and across the US and Canada are an excellent showcase for what Scotland contributes globally.

“It is a source of great pride that we offer the very best both culturally and environmentally to the rest of the world. Of additional pride are the growing links between many of our businesses which are working hard to deliver jobs and investments on both sides of the Atlantic.

“I am therefore looking forward to meeting with world-leading companies during my time in both New York and Washington to discuss further opportunities for us to work together. I will also be reinforcing Scotland’s place in the world through high-profile speaking engagements when I will be setting out Scotland’s ambition  to enter the global community of nations and to participate in that community on a basis of equality, responsibility and friendship.”

Other events the First Minister will be attending include officially starting the 10th annual Scotland Run in Central Park and the opening of an exhibition being staged by former Barlinnie prison officer David Eustace turned international photographer which showcases stunning landscapes  as part of the Year of Natural Scotland.

The First Minister will then move on to Washington DC where he will give a speech at the Brookings Institution. He will also be the guest of honour at the annual Tartan Day reception which is attended by politicians at the US Capitol and will also have a meeting with the US Speaker of the House of Representatives John Boehner.

The First Minister’s programme will run alongside a Scottish parliament delegation being led by the Presiding Officer who will also be promoting Scotland in the US.