DEALS worth an estimated £40 million to Scottish businesses over the next decade have been announced by First Minister Alex Salmond during a trade mission to China.
Seven Scottish firms struck agreements which will create jobs while expanding business interests in China.
At an event in Beijing, Mr Salmond said: “From developing the oil and gas fields of the North Sea to producing the highest quality food and drink, from harnessing wind, wave and tidal power in our world-leading renewables industry to developing some of the world’s most popular video games, Scotland has innovation in every corner and a huge amount to offer China.
“Today’s announcements, worth £40 million to Scotland over the next decade, demonstrate the demand in China for Scottish expertise and quality products in a host of industry sectors, with significant partnerships showing the real benefits to both countries of our expansion into the Chinese market.”
Boilers, software, oil industry
The deals include an agreement by an Annan-based industrial boiler plant maker to upgrade systems across China, making them more environmentally friendly. It is expected to bring 20 jobs to the Dumfries and Galloway town.
An Edinburgh-based software company plans to open an office in Beijing and a Glasgow company will deliver education products to international and bilingual schools in China.
Other deals will lead to more work for the designers of the world’s first unmanned offshore oil platforms, as well as boosting jobs for a firm specialising in sub-surface radar technology.
A construction company will help develop greener housing, showcasing innovation and design from Scotland.
The Scottish Professional Football League signed an agreement with Chinese partners to screen 58 Scottish league matches in China to an audience of 60 million.
Julian Taylor, Asia Pacific director for Scottish Development International, said: “China has clearly stated that innovation will play a key part in its 12th five-year plan which calls for sustainable economic growth.
“This has clear parallels with Scotland’s economic strategy and this visit will help us promote partnership in areas that have been specifically identified as priorities to China including energy, life sciences, technology, digital media and education.
“The fact that Scottish exports to China are growing and the number of companies participating in this visit shows that more and more Scottish firms are looking to international markets to drive growth. China is a complex market but the volume of new announcements being made today shows what it is entirely achievable.”
Mr Salmond is on his fourth visit to China, leading a delegation of 30 companies at meetings and other events with Chinese industry and government.