Cabinet Secretary for the Economy travels to Hamburg and Berlin.
Growth in international trade and investment between Scotland and Germany will be the focus of Cabinet Secretary for the Economy Keith Brown’s trip to Germany this week (Monday, March 6 and Tuesday, March 7).
Mr Brown will travel to Hamburg and Berlin to meet with a range of companies that have made substantial investments in Scotland, in a number of sectors including energy, hospitality and engineering.
He will also meet with the representatives from the Association of German Chambers of Commerce to explore opportunities to grow international trade and investment between Scotland and Germany, as well as gather insights into perceptions of Brexit amongst German organisations and business communities.
Mr Brown said:
“Scotland and Germany have long enjoyed a fruitful cultural and trading relationship, with its roots going as far back as the 12th century. Around 30,000 Germans by birth live in Scotland and almost 3000 students study in our universities, reinforcing this long-standing partnership.
“Trade between Scotland and Germany today is considerable. There are more than 150 German-owned enterprises operating at around 600 Scottish sites, employing almost 18,000 people with a turnover in excess of £4,000 million. In addition, exports to Germany were worth £1.7bn in 2015 – more than 6% of all Scotland’s international exports. We want to develop this further by supporting more companies to export to German markets, and safeguarding the investments that have already been made – and are planned to be made – in Scotland.
“Substantial opportunities to grow international trade and investment between Scotland and Germany exist in a wide range of different sectors and I will be meeting senior business leaders and the sectors of energy, hospitality and engineering as we seek to deepen and strengthen these important links.
“The Scottish Government is determined to protect Scotland’s national interests. The Scottish Parliament voted by a clear majority for Scotland’s place in the Single Market to be protected, and agreed that “alternative approaches within the UK should be sought that would enable Scotland to retain our place within the single market”. This is a significant compromise compared to EU membership, for which the people of Scotland voted.
“Clearly, Brexit remains a source of great uncertainty – for businesses in Scotland and in Germany alike – and I will reaffirm direct to businesses in Hamburg and Berlin that Scotland remains open for business and the Scottish Government believes that, short of EU membership, full membership of the single market is the best outcome not just for Scotland but for the whole of the UK.”