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Last Updated: Friday, 12 October 2007, 21:53 GMT 22:53 UK
Salmond gives Celtic Lion vision
Alex Salmond
Mr Salmond addressed the prestigious organisation in New York
First Minister Alex Salmond has set out his vision for a 'Celtic Lion' economy in Scotland, on the final day of his trip to the United States.

In a keynote speech, Mr Salmond told an American audience that Scotland is determined to emerge from years of economic under-performance.

Mr Salmond spoke of his ambition to emulate Ireland's economic success.

He was addressing the highly prestigious Council on Foreign Relations in New York.

The first minister said Scotland had everything needed for the economy to take off - citing history, innovation and education.

He also said that against that backdrop, Scotland's economic growth rate had been disappointing.

We have everything it takes for a Celtic Lion economy to take off in Scotland
First Minister Alex Salmond

The new Scottish Government wants to match the UK's economic performance by 2011.

He said: "We have a history and present reality of innovation, examples of educational excellence and individuals and companies succeeding in a competitive global market.

"And it is against this backdrop that our trend growth rate is so disappointing. Over the last 25 years, the Scottish economy has grown at 1.8% compared to the UK's own 2.3%.

"The difference may sound small but over that period it represents an opportunity cost to the Scottish economy of billions of pounds.

"However we have everything it takes for a Celtic Lion economy to take off in Scotland."

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