The UK’s diplomatic and trade network across the USA offers Scotland great advantages in one of Scotland’s key export markets. That was the message from Scotland Office Minister David Mundell as he began his visit to the USA.
The Scotland Office Minister concluded his first day in Washington by hosting UKTI’s “Taste of Scotland” reception in the UK’s Embassy. This provided a platform for Scotland’s food and drink to be showcased to American business and industry figures.
Mr Mundell emphasised the value Scotland gets from the UK Government’s diplomatic and trade network across the United States which was used by over 4,000 UK businesses last year.
The Minister said:
The progress we have made in increasing our food and drink exports over the past few years is phenomenal. This reception highlights the hard work that the UK Government’s diplomatic and trade network is undertaking for Scotland’s high quality produce in our number one export market for food and drink.
Being able to brand our fantastic food and drink as Scottish and make use of the UK’s vast global trade and consular network gives us the best of both worlds. This is a rapidly expanding, billion pound industry as more and more people around the globe are appreciating the delights of a taste of Scotland.
Opening doors for Scottish business across the globe is vital but we must make sure we are primed for opportunities that exist in highly competitive developed markets like the US.
That is why UKTI and FCO’s trade and diplomatic network across America is so important. From LA to Miami and New York to Seattle the UK’s presence in the US touches all four corners in a vast union of States. This means we have our finger on the pulse in sectors of the US economy which Scotland is well placed to make the most of whether it be video games in Los Angeles, IT in Silicon Valley, textiles in New York or the Oil and Gas sector in Houston.
Prior to the UKTI showcase the Scotland Office Minister met with representatives from the US Senate, the US Chamber of Commerce and senior members of the US administration. The meetings provided a chance for the Minister to make the case for Scottish business in our largest export market which in 2011 accounted for £3.5bn of Scottish goods and services.
Mr Mundell added:
We have a unique and close relationship with our friends in the United States, the fact that between the UK and the USA we have invested $1trn in our respective economies underlines this.
The meetings I have undertaken today provided an opportunity to see what links between the US and Scotland could be created or strengthened further.
Globally the Foreign and Commonwealth Office’s overseas diplomatic and consular network extends to 14,000 people in 267 people in Embassies, High Commissions and Consulates in 154 countries and 12 Overseas Territories and the UKTI’s trade network consists of 162 offices in 96 countries.
The 2013 Ernst & Young foreign investment attractiveness survey shows the USA is the largest source of foreign direct investment in Scotland accounting for 41% of all investment projects.
The 2011 Global Connections Survey estimated that the USA accounted for 15% (£3.5bn) of all of Scotland’s exports making it our largest single export market for goods and services.