Salmond seeks Middle East investorsSource: The Herald
Last updated 1 Nov 2011 - 2:25 am
First Minister Alex Salmond has said Scotland could offer attractive 'investment opportunities' to Gulf states
Scotland could offer attractive investment opportunities to its "friends in the Gulf", First Minister Alex Salmond has said.
Mr Salmond, on a five-day trip to Qatar and United Arab Emirates, will meet representatives from Abu Dhabi Investment Authority to discuss possible joint working between UAE and Scotland on infrastructure projects.
Scottish Enterprise chief executive Lena Wilson and other leading business figures will also be at the forthcoming meeting.
Speaking before it, Mr Salmond said leading figures in both Qatar and UAE had "expressed their confidence in Scotland's economic strategy".
The meeting with the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority, wholly owned by the Abu Dhabi government, is "an opportunity to talk in more detail about some of the unique opportunities Scotland can offer".
Mr Salmond went on: "Worldwide market forces make this an attractive time to invest in long-term, viable capital projects. I am confident that the Scottish Government's commitment to capital investment for long-term growth will make Scotland an attractive partner for our friends in the Gulf."
The talks come after the First Minister spent two days in Qatar where he discussed strengthening links with Scotland with Sheikh Hamad Bin Khalifa Al Thani, emir of Qatar, and Sheikh Hamad Bin Jassim Bin Jabr Al Thani, prime minister and foreign minister.
Mr Salmond said: "The economies of Qatar and the UAE continue to perform well as they seek to diversify. They share Scotland's commitment to sustainable capital investment which will secure the long-term future of our respective economies.
"In the current economic circumstances, capital investment must be a priority in both the public and private sector. Scotland offers many attractive business opportunities, particularly in renewables and infrastructure, which offer the prospects of good returns for substantial investors.
"Now is the time to invest, which is why I am visiting both Qatar and the UAE this week."