Deputy First Minister of Scotland John Swinney
Deputy First Minister of Scotland John Swinney

Scottish Minister to visit India next week to strengthen bilateral ties

ANI | Updated: Nov 22, 2018 19:17 IST

New Delhi [India], Nov 22(ANI): Deputy First Minister of Scotland, John Swinney, will visit India next week to further strengthen ties between the two countries. His visit will be aimed at enhancement of trade and investment along with bolstering educational and cultural links.
A statement released by the British High Commission in New Delhi on Thursday said that the Scottish Minister would be accompanied by a delegation of senior leaders from Scotland's higher education sector.
"India is an important international partner to Scotland and we have successfully collaborated on hundreds of different projects in recent years - from the Ganga River Health Project to delivering cost-effective precision medicine solutions for diabetes," Swinney was quoted saying.
Swinney would be holding a series of meetings between November 23 to 29 in New Delhi and Bangalore, along with businessmen and industry leaders as well as representatives from the Indian Government.
"There is much we can learn from India, a country highly regarded for its spirit of creativity, entrepreneurship and young ambitious workforce," he added.
The Deputy First Minister of Scotland further mentioned that Scotland, in a similar manner, can offer a lot of expertise in areas that the Indian Government has identified as important, such as clean water and data-driven innovation.
"Scotland already has a strong history of engineering and innovation and Edinburgh has been named as the best European place to start a tech business thanks to its top facilities, strong international connections, world-class universities and fantastic quality of life."
India is Scotland's fourth biggest international market for further and higher education students. As per records, 1,425 higher education students from India enrolled in Scottish universities in the academic year 2016-17.
Working with the delegation from our world-renowned universities we will highlight the strengths and achievements of Scotland's higher education sector and promote the exciting opportunities for Indian students to visit, work and study here, he said.
His trip will also include an official reception at the British High Commission in New Delhi to celebrate St Andrew's Day and a separate celebration with alumni from Scottish universities in Bangalore.
The programme has been organised in partnership with Scottish Development International, Universities Scotland, the British Council and Visit Scotland.
Talking in terms of trade, Scottish direct exports to India were worth £235million in 2016.
Also, in 2016 visitors from India spent a total of 334,000 nights in Scotland and spent £17 million. (ANI)