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19/08/13 12:20

Strengthening ties with Scandinavia

Rural Affairs Secretary visits Sweden and Denmark.

Scottish food and drink, and low carbon expertise will be promoted by the Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs and the Environment during a two-day visit to Scandinavia.

Richard Lochhead will be in Stockholm, Sweden, on Wednesday (August 21, 2013) where he will hear about Sweden’s Rural Parliament. He will also meet Sweden’s Summer House Movement, during a visit to a traditional recreational hut, to discuss the benefits of the country’s hutting policy.

The Cabinet Secretary will then travel to the Danish capital, Copenhagen, on Thursday (August 22, 2013) for a series of diplomatic, business and trade engagements.

Mr Lochhead said:

“Scotland has much in common with our Nordic neighbours and we are keen to strengthen Scotland’s ties with Sweden and Denmark for our mutual benefit. Both are great examples of smaller European nations which have thrived as independent countries, and point the way towards the successful future Scotland can enjoy with independence.

“Scottish exports to Sweden and Denmark were worth an estimated total £775 million in 2011. During my visit, I will explore further economic opportunities for Scotland in Scandinavia. For example, we have identified this region as a very good target market for premium Scottish food and drink products such as Scotch Beef and Scotch Lamb. I am also interested in finding out more Denmark’s hugely successful Organic Food sector.

“Scotland’s world-leading climate change credentials are internationally renowned, and I am keen to share our expertise and experience in this field as well as learning about Scandinavian successes such Sweden’s deposit-refund recycling scheme.

“During my visit, I am particularly looking forward to meeting representatives from Hela Sverige Ska Leva (All Sweden Shall Live), the rural movement responsible for organising the biennial Swedish Rural Parliament. The Scottish Government is committed to the establishment of a Rural Parliament in Scotland, and this is an excellent opportunity to meet directly with the organisers and to learn more from their experience.

“I will also meet with Sweden’s Summer House Movement to learn more this long standing Swedish tradition as we try to progress hutting in Scotland. I know that the concept of having recreational huts in Scotland has very strong support, and this issue was included in our recent planning policy consultation.”

Notes to editors

Estimated export figures are from the Global Connections Survey 2011: http://www.scotland.gov.uk/topics/statistics/browse/economy/exports/GCSIntroduction