Scotland/China news

China Plan and Scottish ministerial visit

by Website Editor, 26-27 June 2013

This has been a busy week for policy developments relating to China, with the publication, on 23 June, of the report by the Scottish Parliament's European and External Affairs Committee on the Scottish Government 'China Plan', and a visit to China 23-27 June by Scottish Government External Affairs Minister Humza Yousaf.

Scottish Parliament report

The report can be found online (and as a pdf), here, with their associated news release here. The report link includes links to the written and oral evidence presented to the Committee.

The Committee's key findings were :

  • progress to support business to business partnerships between Scottish and Chinese companies is required by SDI, as is the development of mentoring and business incubation schemes
  • the Scottish Government should consider how it could work more directly with SMEs and their representative bodies in both the drafting and delivery of the next China Plan in order to improve stakeholder involvement
  • Ministerial visits are vital to the continued engagement between Scotland and China. These should therefore be carefully planned and orchestrated to maximise returns for the Scottish economy
  • links between Scottish and Chinese educational institutions are of increasing importance as is the teaching of Chinese languages in Scottish schools through programmes such as the Confucius Institutes
  • the financial sector currently has significant opportunities for Scotland in China, which the relevant authorities and organisations should be looking to maximise
  • a direct air link from Scotland to China will increase the potential for Scotland’s economic and cultural engagement in that country
  • the visibility of Scotland in China, through the branding of Scottish products and Scottish company offices there, is a key element in increasing Scotland’s trade with China

Various media reports on the Committee report include this one from The Scotsman.

The Scottish Government plan, entitled 'Working with China - a five year strategy for engagement between Scotland and the People's Republic of China', was released on 4 December 2012, and can be found on the Scottish Government website here, to view online or download as a pdf. There is also a news release here.

Ministerial visit to China

Scottish Government External Affairs Minister Humza Yousaf is in China between 23 and 27 June to undertake a series of diplomatic, cultural, business and trade engagements in Beijing, Shenzhen and Hong Kong.

In Beijing on Tuesday June 25, 2013, Mr Yousaf discussed cultural collaboration between Scotland and China, and Scotland’s expertise in renewable energy and financial services training. The Minister then travelled to Shenzhen for a day of engagements promoting opportunities for Sino-Scottish collaboration in education and the creative industries. Mr Yousaf’s visit concludes in Hong Kong where he will highlight some of the ways in which China is benefiting from Scotland’s expertise in low carbon technology, renewable energy and life sciences.

A series of announcements have been made during the visit :

  • on Scottish involvement in the development of offshore wind energy in Guangdong - see this report by the BBC
  • on a new cultural partnership between Edinburgh and Nanjing, with exhibitions to be launched in the two cities in autumn 2013 and spring 2014 - see reports by The Scotsman and The Herald
  • various education linkups, exporting Scottish expertise to China - see this report by the BBC
  • an agreement for for cooperation and knowledge transfer between Scotland and Hong Kong in the low carbon sector

Xinhua's Edinburgh bureau carried a short report, based on an interview with the Minister, on 11 July, see here.

For info on First Minister Alex Salmond's later trip to China in November 2013, see this page.