Tourism and jobs “priority” of First Minister’s US visit

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First Minister Alex Salmond is travelling to the US West Coast this month to continue to build on economic links and encourage inward investment in Scotland, during which he is expected to make a significant economic announcement.

The First Minister will undertake a programme of engagements in Los Angeles, Sacramento and San Francisco which will focus on innovation, tourism and jobs.

First Minister Alex Salmond is travelling to the US West Coast this month to continue to build on economic links and encourage inward investment in Scotland, during which he is expected to make a significant economic announcement.

The First Minister will undertake a programme of engagements in Los Angeles, Sacramento and San Francisco which will focus on innovation, tourism and jobs.

Mr Salmond’s first event will be on Monday, June 18, when he will take part in business meetings and also meet with US journalists to discuss Scotland as a tourist destination. 

He will also promote the opportunities of the Winning Years initiative to encourage tourism businesses to maximise their promotional activity by focusing in on major events such as the Year of Creative Scotland and the launch of the Disney-Pixar animation “Brave” this year; the Year of Natural Scotland next year; and the Ryder Cup, Commonwealth Games and Year of Homecoming in 2014.

As part of his four-day visit, the First Minister will also attend the world premiere of the much anticipated animation “Brave” which is expected to bring a boost of £140 million to the Scottish economy.  The premiere will take place on Monday June 18 and is the opening film for this year’s Los Angeles Film Festival.  Many of the animation’s Scottish stars are also expected to attend.

The premiere brings together Disney-Pixar and VisitScotland in a unique collaboration between the film giant and Scotland‘s tourism agency to showcase Scotland across the world.

The First Minister will then travel to Sacramento, the state capital, to meet with leading Californian politicians where he will discuss the importance to the Scottish economy of significant, sustained investment by global California-based corporations, as well as Scotland and California’s shared commitment to ambitious targets for renewable energy and a low carbon economy.

Mr Salmond will also deliver a speech to the Commonwealth Club of California, the oldest and largest public affairs forum in the US, in San Francisco on Tuesday, June 19.  He will promote Scotland’s investment credentials in continuing to attract sustained investment from US and major global companies despite the turbulent global economic climate, and the nation’s reputation as a global innovator in low carbon and renewable energy.

The 2011 Ernst and Young UK Attractiveness Survey reported that, in terms of employment generated by Foreign Direct Investment, Scotland was the leading location anywhere in the UK in 2010.

Other speakers who will be delivering speeches to the non-profit organisation in June include former US Secretary of State General Colin Powell and US economist and Nobel laureate Joseph Stiglitz, who is also a member of the Scottish Government’s Council of Economic Advisers.

On Wednesday, June 20, he will make a number of business visits, including one to Stanford University to see the work of the SU2P, a venture between Stanford and Strathclyde, Heriot-Watt, St Andrews and Glasgow universities to get maximum economic impact from their joint research in photonics, the science and technology based on and concerned with the controlled flow of photons, or light particles.

The First Minister said:

“Scottish companies are operating in a highly competitive global economy, and the Scottish Government and our agencies are using every opportunity available to boost investment, tourism, and jobs.

“As the Ernst & Young survey shows, Scotland is the top inward investment location anywhere in the UK in terms of employment generation, but we must keep moving forward.  The US offers huge potential, and Scotland and Scottish companies are ideally placed to take advantage of the outstanding opportunities that are available.

“The animation film ’Brave’, for example, is expected to boost the Scottish economy by £140 million – and the unique collaboration between Disney-Pixar and VisitScotland to showcase Scotland across the world is a fantastic example of maximising economic benefit from the strength of our nation’s global brand.

“Innovation is critical to driving growth and jobs, especially at a time when our economies are still recovering.

“This visit will help us identify and enhance the opportunities for real, practical innovation and collaboration, and bring investment and jobs to Scotland.”

Itinerary:

The First Minister’s first event will be on Monday, June 18, when he will take part in business meetings and also meet with US journalists to discuss Scotland as a tourist destination.  He will also discuss the opportunities presenting themselves as part of the Winning Years initiative to encourage tourism businesses to maximise their promotional activity by focusing in on major events such as the Year of Creative Scotland and the launch of “Brave” this year; the Year of Natural Scotland next year; and the Ryder Cup, Commonwealth Games and Year of Homecoming in 2014.

He will then attend the premiere of “Brave” which is being shown as the opening film of the LA Film Festival.

On Tuesday, June 19, he will meet with leading politicians at the California State Capitol in Sacramento.

He will also travel that day to San Francisco to deliver a speech to the Commonwealth Club of California and meet senior business people and decision-makers.

He will take part in a number of business meetings to discuss inward investment on Wednesday, June 20 before returning to Scotland. The First Minister will also be a guest of Stanford University where he will see the latest work by the SU2P collaboration between Stanford and Scottish universities.

Related Information

Visit Scotland website: http://www.visitscotland.com/about/arts-culture/films/brave

Commonwealth Club of California  http://www.commonwealthclub.org/

LA Film Fest: http://www.lafilmfest.com/

SU2P Project: http://www.su2p.com/