How Scotland is forging closer ties with Nordic nations – Angus Robertson MSP

Scotland’s closest northern regional neighbours are Iceland, Norway and Denmark.

Tuesday, 13th July 2021, 12:30 pm
Icelandic capital Reykjavik is seen with the glow from the lava coming out of a volcanic fissure on the Reykjanes Peninsula behind in May this year (Picture: Halldor Kolbeins/AFP via Getty Images)
Icelandic capital Reykjavik is seen with the glow from the lava coming out of a volcanic fissure on the Reykjanes Peninsula behind in May this year (Picture: Halldor Kolbeins/AFP via Getty Images)

All these countries are active in multilateral organisations – from the Arctic Council to the Nordic Council – and work together to face common environmental, economic and other challenges as well as opportunities which are common to our neighbourhood.

According to a recent report by the Scottish government, “Arctic countries are major trade partners for Scotland accounting for around 27.5 per cent of our total exports and five of our top 20 export destinations in 2017. They are also the origin of about half of all foreign direct investments in Scotland, strengthening our status as the leading UK location for global investment outside of London”.

That’s why its essential to make trade and investment partnerships with Arctic countries even more successful. In its export growth plan called A Trading Nation, the Scottish government has set an ambitious target in order to increase international exports from 20 per cent to 25 per cent of GDP over the next 10 years.

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The United States, Norway, Denmark, Sweden and Canada are among the top export markets showing the strongest near-term growth potential for Scotland.

Now an Arctic Connections Fund has been established to help Scottish organisations and communities collaborate with partners in the Arctic. It promotes exchange of expertise on shared issues and aims to raise awareness of common ambitions.

If you would like to find out more, you can visit the Scottish government’s website, www.gov.scot, and search for the ‘Arctic Connections Fund’.

Angus Robertson is the SNP MSP for Edinburgh Central and Constitution, External Affairs and Culture Secretary

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