Scotland Week delivers boost to investment

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Scotland Week in North America has delivered tangible results for industry, growth and investment, with a positive impact on Scotland’s international reputation.

It was a week which saw two Ministers travel to 11 US cities across four time-zones, attending almost 50 engagements, networking events and meetings, and 11 international media interviews along the way; all with the objective of promoting Scotland to the US and Canada.

Fiona Hyslop, Cabinet Secretary for Culture and External Affairs, and Fergus Ewing, Minister for Energy, Enterprise and Tourism, represented The Scottish Government in a variety of activities across Scotland Week 2012 (April 6 – 14).

Highlights included:

• The announcement of the expansion of Scottish solar panel company Renewable Resources Ltd into US markets 
• Five new GlobalScots added to the network of more than 200 business leaders who serve as ambassadors for Scotland in North America
• 30 new jobs for Scotland, as cloud computing firm enStratus announce Edinburgh as the location of its European HQ
• Promoting Scotland, the home of golf, in Chicago ahead of the 2014 Ryder Cup 
• 350,000 pounds International Touring Fund allocations announced, to showcase Scottish theatre, dance and music around the world
• Over 100,000 pounds of orders placed so far as a result of the Scotland Re:Designed showcase, with 200 influential media and industry contacts coming through the doors including Vogue.com, New York Times and Harpers Bazaar.
• A new tartan donated to the National New York Tartan Day Parade Committee

The fifth Scotland Week has been record-breaking in terms of public engagement, with:

• 11,000 runners participating in the Scotland Run in New York
• 3,000 marchers in the annual Tartan Day Parade in New York, with 8,000 spectators
• #scotweek trending internationally on Twitter throughout the week
• 800 per cent increase in sign-ups to social network KILTR following its international launch during Scotland Week

Ms Hyslop said:

“Throughout Scotland Week Mr Ewing and I engaged with businesses and North American influencers to promote Scotland’s strengths as a nation rich in culture, creativity and heritage, an incredible place to visit, and a great place to invest and do business.

“I was in New York, San Francisco, Vancouver and Chicago, discussing opportunities between Scotland and North American businesses across a range of sectors. I met with Government representatives both in British Columbia and California and undertook several interviews with international media.

“We promoted Scotland’s rich cultural and creative strengths in New York during the Year of Creative Scotland with two contemporary Scottish plays – ‘A Slow Air’ and ‘Murray versus Federer’.

“It was a pleasure to officially start the record breaking 10k Scotland Run through Central Park in New York, and to be involved in ‘Re:Designed’, which has already resulted in orders of more than 100,000 pounds for 12 leading Scottish fashion and textiles designers.

“Early indications suggest Scotland Week was again a resounding success. And with the numbers of North American visitors to Scotland already on the rise, I look forward to the further evidence of the positive economic impact of Scotland Week 2012.”
 
Mr Ewing added:

“Scotland Week was a wonderful opportunity for myself and my colleagues to let Canada and the US see exactly what Scotland has to offer in terms of a must-see, must-return visitor destination and a great place to do business.

“My meetings in Houston and Calgary at the beginning of the trip allowed me to build on the strong, mutually beneficial cultural and economic links that we have with the US and Canada.  I met leaders in some of the Scottish Government’s growth industries such as renewables as well as oil and gas and we will build on these connections for our future prosperity.

“In New York I had the opportunity to promote the Year of Creative Scotland and encourage people from across the United States to visit Scotland to see our innovative nation and witness its world-renowned hospitality.  The historical links between the US and Scotland were underlined when I visited the Andrew Carnegie exhibition in the Museum of America Finance in New York.  It was clear that the industrialist made a huge contribution to both nations.

“To finish off the week with the annual Tartan Day Parade in the heart of Manhattan was extremely fitting.  It was a great celebration of the shared history and culture between our two nations.”

Just completed its fifth year, Scotland Week is a week long programme of events in the USA and Canada.   Starting with Tartan Day on Friday April 6, Scotland Week ran until Saturday April 14, with the finale of New York’s famous Tartan Day Parade.

The Year of Creative Scotland began on January 1, 2012 and spotlights and celebrates Scotland’s cultural and creative strengths on a world stage. Through a dynamic and exciting year-long programme of activity celebrating our world-class events, festivals, culture and heritage, the year puts Scotland’s culture and creativity in the international spotlight with a focus on cultural tourism and developing the events industry and creative sector in Scotland.

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