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Nicola Sturgeon to pitch Scottish business to US investors

Nicola Sturgeon is to visit the US to promote Scottish skills and expertise to the North American business community.

The Scottish First Minister will focus on trade and investment between the two countries, boosting tourism and promoting Scottish innovation and entrepreneurship.

She is also expected to speak at Stanford University on Scotland's place in the world and at the UN about a programme which supports women from conflict areas getting involved in peace activities.

The US accounts for 36% of inward investment projects and is Scotland's second largest export partner worth £4.56 billion a year, making up 15.9% of all international exports.

The April 2-7 visit, which includes California and New York, will be held during Scotland Week in the US.

Ms Sturgeon said: "Scotland has a long-standing relationship with the United States which spans family, friendship and business and this government is committed to continuing to strengthen these ties.

"We have a strong record in attracting international investment and Scotland continues to be the top destination in the UK for foreign direct investment outside of London.

"We have also seen a steady rise in visitors from North America to Scotland in recent years and a growing interest from the US market in Scottish products.

"There are huge opportunities for Scottish business in the USA particularly in technology and tourism, two areas which will be at the centre of this visit."

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