Keynote Speech by H.E. Ambassador Liu Xiaoming at the Scottish Chamber of Commerce Dinner: Uphold Free Trade and Lead the Trend of Openness and Connectivity
President Tim Allan,
Deputy First Minister John Swinney,
Ms. Liz Camron,
Ambassador David Valentine,
Ladies and Gentlemen:
It is a real delight to join you, my Scottish friends both old and new, at the Scottish Chamber of Commerce (SCC) dinner on this lovely spring day.
Last time I was here, it was a golden September day six months ago. It is great to be back and feel the strong pulse of China-Scotland cooperation.
To summarise our cooperation, I would like to use three E's.
The first "E" is elevated political guidance.
At the beginning of this year, Prime Minister May paid a successful visit to China. During the visit, the leaders of our two countries agreed to build a more strategic, practical, global and inclusive bilateral relationship.
Last month, First Minister Sturgeon visited China and came back with fruitful outcomes.
The Scottish government is going to issue its third five-year plan on cooperation with China. This is strong evidence that the Scottish government attaches great importance and given strong guidance to developing relations with China.
The second "E" is extensive trade and economic ties.
Following the rapid growth of trade and economic cooperation in recent years, China is now Scotland's fourth largest export market and third largest source of import.
In 2017, Scottish export to China increased by over 40%, twice the increase rate of total British export, with Whiskey export reaching £61 million. Chinese investment made strong headway in Scotland. Many Chinese companies, such as China National Offshore Oil Corporation, SDIC Power, BYD and Ctrip, have set up businesses in Scotland. This has become a new highlight of our cooperation.
Here I want to mention the story of Todd & Duncan by the beautiful Loch Leven. This Scottish manufacturer of cashmere yarn established in 1867 ran into difficulties in 2009 and was acquired by a Chinese cashmere producer. This acquisition not only secured over 200 jobs, but also helped the century-old company get out of the red in 2017. This has been a valuable contribution to the local community and its economy.