Trade and Investment Minister Ivan McKee is visiting China this week to promote the growing economic, cultural and educational links between Scotland and the world’s second largest economy.
He will visit Beijing, Shanghai and Hangzhou, conducting a series of high-level business and government meetings, as well as cultural engagements.
The visit is an opportunity to progress the Scottish Government’s China Strategy and build on the success of the First Minister’s visit to China in April 2018.
Latest overall export figures show exports from Scotland to China were worth £625 million in 2017 – rising from £590 million in 2016.
Food and drink exports to China were worth £130 million in 2018 – an increase of 10% since 2017 and up 177% since 2007. This includes growing demand for exports of Scotch Whisky to China which were worth £76 million in 2018. Last week, whisky distillers Gordon & MacPhail announced they are releasing a 70 year old malt exclusively for the Chinese market through distributor Spirit Empire.
Announcing his visit, Mr McKee said:
“I am delighted to be visiting China to promote the long-standing friendship between our two countries.
“As the world’s second largest economy, there are huge opportunities for Scottish businesses to work with China. In particular, China is an important export market for Scottish products, especially food and drink, but also many other sectors including engineering and financial services. I hope our new Export Growth Plan helps build on these opportunities even further.
“There are strong educational and cultural links between our countries too. I’m pleased to be travelling with the message that Scotland is a fantastic place to invest, to do business, to study and to visit.
“During my visit, I will also meet Chinese Government representatives and look forward to discussing ways in which we can work together for the mutual benefit of our two countries. Following on from the First Minister’s visit to China last year, we will continue to talk about the importance of equality of opportunity and respect for human rights.”