Scotland’s economic ties with Europe’s largest economy have been boosted following the opening of a Scottish Government hub in Berlin.
The new Germany Innovation and Investment Hub will:
- Promote investment between German and Scottish businesses and organisations
- Increase Scottish Government influence and engagement with Germany
- Encourage collaboration between business, research, education and cultural institutions
- Build on Scotland’s reputation as a destination of choice to work, study and visit
Germany is already Scotland’s fourth largest overseas market, with exports worth £1.9 billion in 2016. The Germany Hub will complement the wider international network, covering London, Dublin, Brussels, Beijing and Washington DC. The hub will jointly house Scottish Government and Scottish Development International staff and is co-located within the British Embassy.
External Affairs Secretary Fiona Hyslop announced the opening as she undertook two days of engagements in the German capital. This includes the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between Glasgow and Berlin Chambers of Commerce and meeting the organisers of the European Championships, jointly hosted in Glasgow and Berlin this summer.
Ms Hyslop said:
“Scotland is an outward-looking European nation that has much to share with other countries. The opening of our Germany Hub is a signal of our intent to continue to support deep and lasting links with our European neighbours. In light of Brexit, it is all the more important that we deepen those cultural, economic and diplomatic ties.
“The Germany Innovation and Investment Hub is a significant addition to our hub network, as we seek to foster the conditions and relationships Scottish companies and institutions need to internationalise and grow. Further to that, the Hub will be a focal point for our engagement across the central Europe region.
“The new agreement between Glasgow and Berlin Chambers of Commerce is welcome and symbolises the close synergy and opportunities that exist between Scottish and Germany organisations – as does the close working between the two cities to host the upcoming European Championships.”
Stuart Patrick, chief executive of Glasgow Chambers of Commerce, added:
“The signing of this agreement could not have come at a more appropriate time, with the uncertainty that the Brexit vote has brought to future trading relationships with Europe.
“Glasgow Chamber’s Board took the view that, whatever the outcomes from the negotiations, we should do our best to strengthen trading ties wherever we could, and this agreement shows that we are on the front foot in maintaining business links with Europe and not sitting back waiting on others to make decisions.”