Scotland and the USA
The Scottish Government has refreshed its plan for engagement with Scotland's single largest overseas market for exports, inward investment and tourism - the USA.
On American Independence Day, External Affairs Minister Fiona Hyslop has published the Scottish Government's Plan for Engagement in the USA. The Plan spells out Scotland's three strategic objectives in the USA, which are to:
- Bring a sharper economic growth focus to the promotion of Scotland in the USA
- Create the conditions for people to live, learn, visit, work, and invest in Scotland
- Manage Scotland's reputation as a distinctive global identity
Recognising the need and value in a co-ordinated and focused approach, the Plan will rely on close collaboration between the Scottish Government and its agencies to ensure the objectives are realised in the USA.
Minister for Culture and External Affairs Fiona Hyslop said:
"Scotland already has extensive historical, economic and cultural links with the USA. This plan builds on those links to further strengthen our relationship, and ensure that Scotland maximises the economic opportunities offered by the US market, via tourism, inward investment and exports.
"Over the last two years, this Government has worked hard to ensure our engagement with the US is more strategic and business focussed, and this refreshed Plan will bring an even sharper economic focus to our work.
"Closer collaboration between the Scottish Government, its agencies and partners in the USA, focusing on the three strategic objectives, is key to creating a more successful country with opportunities for all of Scotland to flourish."
US Principal Officer Dana Linnet said:
"We warmly welcome the Scottish Government's renewed plan to engage positively with the United States. Scotland remains a strong friend and partner to the United States. The Plan seeks to further strengthen our strong ancestral, historical, cultural, and commercial ties in ways that will benefit our friendship and cooperation in years to come."
Congressman Mike McIntyre, Co-chair, Friends of Scotland Caucus, US House of Representatives said:
"I am pleased to know that the Scottish Government continues to strive to build on what is already a strong and deep bond between our two nations. Scotland's friendship remains important to America, and this new plan lays out objectives that stand to be mutually beneficial."
Congressman John Duncan, Co-chair, Friends of Scotland Caucus, US House of Representatives said:
"I, and my colleagues in the Friends of Scotland Congressional Caucus look forward to continuing to celebrate the longstanding friendship between Scotland and the United States. The Caucus has grown from just a few members a few years ago in the House of Representatives, to more than fifty now in the House and now the US Senate. This new plan published by the Scottish Government will help strengthen and build on that special relationship."
The USA is Scotland's single largest overseas market for exports (worth £3.1 billion in 2008) and inward investment, representing 44 per cent of all High Value jobs over the past three years (at just under 3,000 HV jobs).
Scotland attracts more visitors from the USA than from any other overseas market - in 2008, 340,000 trips were made by US visitors, contributing £260 million to the Scottish economy (21 per cent of all visitor spend that year).
The Minister discussed the importance of Scotland's engagement with the USA at the US Consul's 4th of July reception in Edinburgh on July 2, 2010.
Some believe that the American Declaration of Independence signed in Philadelphia on July 4, 1776 was influenced by Scotland's Declaration of Arbroath signed on April 6, 1320. Nearly 40 per cent of the signatories of the Declaration of Independence were of Scottish descent and the two documents share a passionate declaration of independence with an eloquent appeal on behalf of liberty. As a result, April 6 has been adopted as Tartan Day in the United States.