FIRST Minister Alex Salmond will announce hundreds of new Scottish jobs at US-owned companies during his five-day trade mission to America, the Scottish Government said.
The US remains Scotland’s largest trade partner, with exports worth £3.5 billion in 2012.
The First Minister will lead 17 Scottish companies who are seeking to break the US market on a trade mission to New York as part of his Scotland Week engagements.
During the five-day programme, the First Minister is expected to announce hundreds of new Scottish jobs.
There are currently 580 US-owned companies in Scotland, which equates to 28% of the total number of foreign investors. Collectively these organisations employ 98,000 people in Scotland.
Mr Salmond said: “The US is the largest inward investor into Scotland, therefore it is vitally important that we continue to build on this lucrative business relationship.
“The Scotland Week trade mission will capitalise on the increasing appetite for premium Scottish products across fashion, interiors and food and drink, which have a strong appeal with the American consumer.
“Food and drinks exports alone have increased by a staggering 82% since 2007 and stand in excess of £817 million in 2012. The market remains the top destination for Scotch whisky exports - up 16% to £758 million in 2012 - and the US is the largest importer of Scottish farmed salmon.
“Scotland’s highly skilled workforce, continuous innovation and lower costs, coupled with extensive public sector support, holds a strong appeal to US companies looking to expand into Europe providing substantial opportunities for further jobs growth.
“I am confident that there will be a huge appetite for Scottish product in the Big Apple.”
External Affairs Minister Humza Yousaf is also travelling to Canada and the US.
The minister will first visit Vancouver, where he will meet businesses considering investment in Scotland and representatives of the Canadian Government, as well as attending Tartan Day celebrations with members of the Scottish Diaspora in Canada.
Mr Yousaf said: “Scotland’s relationship with Canada and the USA go back centuries, and by visiting the two countries I hope to build on our shared history.
“We also have lots to gain from our relationship today. Scotland has much to offer our North American cousins - our highly talented workforce, cutting-edge technologies, and our world-class higher and further education system.
“Our links with Canada and the USA offer great opportunities for investment and trade, and exchange of skills and expertise, so I am looking forward to meeting with world-leading companies to discuss further opportunities for us to work together.
“And in this year of Homecoming Scotland, I relish the opportunity to meet with the diaspora community and telling them more about what Scotland has to offer today.
“There’s never been a better time to visit Scotland, particularly as we will welcome the world this year when we take centre stage as host of two of the world’s biggest sporting events, the Commonwealth Games and the Ryder Cup.”