Scotland politics

Sturgeon to visit US and Canada for talks on trade links


First Minister Nicola Sturgeon is to visit the US and Canada next week.

The trip is planned in a bid to build stronger trade links between Scotland and North America.

It comes as figures show the US is still Scotland's top export country. It is estimated £5.5bn worth of exports were made in 2017.

Canada is in the top 20 export destinations, and was worth £580m in the same period.

Building on existing links

Ms Sturgeon will have trade and cultural engagements in Washington DC, New York, New Jersey, Ottawa and Toronto during the five-day visit.

This will include discussing Brexit and Scotland's future at an address at Georgetown University, in Washington DC, and the launch of the Scotland is Now campaign in Canada.

Ms Sturgeon said Scotland had a "long-standing relationship with North America", and that the new figures highlighted the importance of the trade relationship between the countries to Scotland's economy.

She added: "This visit will build on the existing links between our countries and provide new opportunities for us to work together and learn from each other's expertise in areas including climate change, renewables and gender equality.

"With the shadow of Brexit hanging over our economy, it is more important now than ever to reassure businesses that Scotland is an open and welcoming country and an attractive place to invest in, visit and live."