Scotland's International Framework: US engagement strategy (draft)

This is the draft version of our strategy for engagement with the US. The final version was published in March 2017.

Strategic Objective 1 - Global Outlook

Aim: To enhance Scotland's global outlook, we will embed internationalisation and create an environment which encourages knowledge exchange. We will provide targeted support to our people, businesses and institutions to help them to seize international opportunities. We must also understand the impact of our work on others.

Trade and Investment

The US is Scotland's largest market for exports. The US remains a large, affluent, open economy with opportunities in both well-established and new sectors. It is consistently identified as a priority market for companies already exporting as well as those who aspire to export. Energy, life sciences, financial services, food and drink, the creative industries and tourism are among the key sectors where opportunities exist for Scottish firms. Raising awareness of these opportunities, especially among SMEs and high growth firms, and helping companies to exploit them is the central responsibility of Scottish Development International ( SDI), working in partnership with chambers of commerce, business associations and other relevant organisations in Scotland. Maintaining and developing transport links between Scotland and the US in order to sustain business and other travel is also a priority.


Educational links between Scotland and the US bring considerable value: Scottish students can develop the experience and connections necessary to work in a global environment; and American students studying in Scotland bring economic, social and cultural benefits. Exchanges in both directions support academic and business links between institutions and develop an affinity between the two countries, which over time can be sustained and developed by a growing community of alumni. Educational connections are strong, with opportunities available through many different scholarships and exchange programmes. It will be necessary to ensure that existing programmes continue to be used to the best possible effect. We will work with alumni networks to share their experience with others and encourage their on-going interest to encourage the growth of academic research and other connections.

What is our long-term ambition?

  • Increase the number of companies, particularly SMEs, exporting to the US.
  • Develop a self-sustaining network of individuals and organisations in Scotland to share experience and information about doing business in the US, and providing leadership to others.
  • Strengthen educational connections between Scotland and the US at all levels, particularly the number of students participating in exchange programmes and their continued engagement as alumni.
  • Ensure the sustainability of existing air routes and identify opportunities for increased capacity.


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