Michael Moore told the SCDI International Awards Dinner that Britain and the US are the largest investors in each other’s economies and enjoy the largest Foreign Direct Investment relationship in the world. The Minister added the UK would look to build on that trading relationship next year and strengthen trade links.
The Scottish Secretary also introduced the event’s main speaker, Dr Madeleine Albright, the distinguished US ambassador to the UN, and later the first female Secretary of State, becoming the highest-ranking woman in US Government history.
The Minister said: “Raising awareness of Scotland’s capabilities is just one of the reasons why working with organisations like SCDI is essential - not just for Government - but any company with an interest in international business.
“Last year I experienced SCDI’s expertise first hand when I led Scotland¿s biggest trade mission to Brazil. We want to see UK exports to Brazil double by 2015. The trade mission allowed Scottish companies to showcase their services and establish links in this key high-growth market.
“This is a time of real international uncertainty and instability and the United Kingdom is not immune to what is going on in its biggest export markets.Ongoing difficulties in the Eurozone, and the wider global economy, present challenges as we attempt to rebalance our economy and our public finances, and build a better future.
“We welcome last month’s UK GDP figures showing a return to growth in the third quarter of this year. But weak global confidence and nervous financial markets mean that we cannot be complacent. That is why the UK Government, has made it a priority to set out an unequivocal message to our international partners:
“Britain is open for business, open to innovators and entrepreneurs,open to investment. Boosting export levels for both goods and services is one part of the picture - and that’s why, in the UK, we are aiming to increase our exports to £1 trillion annually by 2020.
“No other relationship demonstrates the power of international links than our special relationship with the United States.The facts speak for themselves. Britain and the US are the largest investors in each other’s economies; enjoying the largest Foreign Direct Investment relationship in the world.
“UK companies currently provide employment for around one million people in the US - roughly the same figure as American companies in Britain.In 2010 alone, Scotland exported an estimated £3.5 billion of goods and services to the US, and we must continue to build on that success. But I believe our relationship holds even greater potential.Scottish, UK and indeed EU wide-recovery will go hand-in-hand with that in America.
“As free-trading, outward-looking, democratic nations our futures remain intertwined. We have the prospect next year of establishing a free trade agreement between the EU and the US that will build on the strong trade links that we already have between the UK and the US.
“We share a commitment to innovation and entrepreneurship.Together, we can create new jobs, business and prosperity for all our peoples.”