Page last updated at 16:11 GMT, Tuesday, 24 March 2009

Chinese mission pushes Scotland

Jim Murphy
Mr Murphy said Scotland and China must work together

Scotland's largest trade mission to China has been pushing the importance of golf, whisky and engineering on the first full day of its visit.

The delegation, led by Scottish Secretary Jim Murphy, is aiming to further tap into the Chinese import market, at a time of UK recession.

Mr Murphy will be meeting Chinese ministers and key business figures.

The delegation is spearheaded by business group, the Scottish Council for Development and Industry.

Speaking at the start of the week-long trade mission, Mr Murphy said: "We know there are significant opportunities for Scottish businesses to work with their Chinese counterparts."

'Trading history'

He added: "In areas such as energy, education, financial services, life sciences, tourism and whisky we have a strong international reputation."

"Scotland and China have a long history of trading and we need to work together to ensure that we are showcasing the best of Scottish industry to our Chinese partners."

Mr Murphy has so far attended the launch of a new range of Carnoustie Country golf wear from Chinese manufacturer Berrytex, which has entered into a trademark agreement with Angus Council.

He also welcomed an announcement by the Shanghai HQ of Edrington - the first Scotch Whisky Company to establish a physical presence in China - that it will set up distribution teams in South Korea and Taiwan, employing 155 staff.

The trade mission - which comes ahead of a similar visit by Scottish First Minister Alex Slamond - also visited the facilities of Clyde Bergemann Ltd - part of the East Kilbride-based Clyde Blowers Group - which has been operating in China for a decade.

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