Nicola Sturgeon lauds £55m boost from China trip

Nicola Sturgeon with Chinese State Councillor Yang Jiechi in Beijing. Picture: AP

Nicola Sturgeon with Chinese State Councillor Yang Jiechi in Beijing. Picture: AP

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Nicola Sturgeon rounded off her trade mission to China yesterday by saying Scotland was open for business and claiming her trip bolstered links that will help support more than 50 Scottish businesses.

The First Minister’s five-day visit was dominated by talk of a second independence referendum after Alex Salmond told the BBC he thought another poll was “inevitable”.

Salmond’s comments and David Cameron’s response that there would not be another one in the immediate future meant Sturgeon faced a ­barrage of questions on the subject when she travelled to the Far East last week.

Yesterday, the First Minister was keen to talk up the business links fostered as a result of her travels to Beijing, Shanghai and Hong Kong. She said ten firms had secured partnerships worth a total of £55 million over three years.

At least 82 jobs in Scotland and 24 jobs in China had been secured, along with research exchange partnerships with five Scottish universities.

She said: “I was proud to be able to showcase the work of 50 Scottish companies during my time in China. We have had huge success.”

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