First Minister in China visit to strengthen links with Scotland

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon is to visit China next month in an effort to boost trade and cultural links.

Nicola Sturgeon will visit Beijing, Shanghai and Hong Kong between April 9 and 13 against the backdrop of a 40% rise in exports from Scotland to China last year.

She will meet with senior Chinese government representatives and businesses as well as attend education showcases and other cultural engagements.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon meeting Chinese Vice Premier Liu Yandong last December (Jeff Mitchell/PA)
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon meeting Chinese Vice Premier Liu Yandong last December (Jeff Mitchell/PA)

Ms Sturgeon, who met with Vice Premier Liu Yandong in Edinburgh last year, has not visited China since 2015.

She said she would seek to explore new ways of working with China but would also "continue to talk about the importance of equality of opportunity and respect for human rights".

Ms Sturgeon said: "I am delighted to be visiting China to promote the long-standing friendship between our two countries.

"Since my last visit three years ago, the economic and cultural links between Scotland and China have gone from strength to strength, underlined by the recent strong export figures and the new direct Edinburgh-Beijing flight route announced last week.

"As the world's second largest economy, there are huge opportunities for Scottish companies to work with China.

"I will be travelling with the message that Scotland is a fantastic place to invest, to do business, to study and to visit on holiday."

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