Salmond to head Scottish trade delegation to Olympics


The First Minister will this week lead an unprecedented trade delegation in London to exploit the global interest in the Olympics by showcasing Scottish industries and promoting inward investment to Scotland.

First Minister Alex Salmond will be joined by Cabinet Secretary for Finance and Sustainable Growth John Swinney, Cabinet Secretary for Culture and External Affairs Fiona Hyslop, Cabinet Secretary for Environment and Rural Affairs Richard Lochhead and the Minister for the Commonwealth Games and Sport Shona Robison as they look to support an extensive programme of engagement to September 6, 2012 across London venues including the Olympic Village and a dedicated facility on Pall Mall.

‘Scotland House’ will build on recent inward investment success by presenting the country’s offering to the world during the Olympics. Similar to the Scotland House facilities at the Commonwealth Games in Melbourne in 2006 and Delhi in 2010, the facility will host over 40 events – a mix of formal events as well as a base for business meetings and the families of Scottish athletes.

The First Minister will launch Scotland House and the programme of engagement next Friday to a domestic and international business audience, sporting interests and high-profile Scots. The First Minister will also represent Scotland at the Olympics Opening Ceremony on Friday evening, and Mr Swinney will meet with international businesses and diplomats at the Olympics Global Investment Conference on Thursday.

Ernst & Young’s latest UK Attractiveness Survey reported on 19th June that 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.

The Scottish Government is aiming to reach major UK and overseas companies that currently do not have operations here. The First Minister made a direct pitch earlier this year to hundreds of company chiefs by writing to them personally highlighting the benefits of investing in Scotland. That campaign and this latest trade delegation and programme of engagement in London will continue to promote the message that Scotland is open for business.

Cabinet Secretary for Finance and Sustainable Growth John Swinney said:

“The Scottish Government and our enterprise agencies are working tirelessly to secure new jobs and investment to Scotland – the 2012 Olympics provide a good opportunity to showcase Scotland’s strengths on an international stage. Thousands of key influencers in the world of business, tourism and sport will be travelling to London for this event and we will be making sure they hear our clear message that Scotland is a great place to live, work and do business.

“Our trade mission will build on our ongoing work to strengthen recovery and stimulate growth. We have already seen positive indicators with the latest labour market statistics, which demonstrate that Scotland is outperforming the UK with our employment rate above that of the UK, and for the second year running the Ernst and Young Attractiveness survey showed Scotland has the best record of inward investment in terms of job creation anywhere in the UK.

“With the full economic and financial powers of independence we could do even more to raise Scotland’s competitiveness and drive forward economic recovery. In the meantime the UK Government must deliver substantial capital investment immediately to promote growth and jobs.”

The Ernst and Young Survey’s 12 nations and regions of the UK are: Scotland, East Midlands, North West, London, North East, West Midlands, South East England, Northern Ireland, Wales, East of England, South West and Yorkshire.

Scotland House is a partnership between the Scottish Government, VisitScotland, EventScotland, Scottish Enterprise, Creative Scotland, sportscotland, with input from Glasgow 2014, Glasgow City Marketing Bureau and Marketing Edinburgh and Scotland Food and Drink.

Ministers will also support Scottish athletes by attending competitive events at both the Olympics and Paralympics with more information available in due course. The First Minister will attend the Women’s football competition at Hampden Park on Wednesday.