Scotland intends to strengthen economic cooperation with Russia

© RIA Novosti / Grigory to Sysoeva in fotobanka Russia. Archive photoScotland intends to strengthen economic cooperation with Russia© RIA Novosti / Grigory to Sysoeva the image Bank

Scotland made a proposal to strengthen pragmatic cooperation with Russia, despite the efforts of the recent anti-Russian rhetoric in the UK. The priority field of interest of Scotland in Russia – the oil and gas industry, technology and education. About what Russia and Scotland would like to achieve in mutually beneficial cooperation, in an interview with RIA Novosti said the trade representative of the Russian Federation in the UK Boris Abramov.

The meeting, held between representatives of the Scottish government and business associations of Scotland with the trade mission of the Russian Federation in late January, was initiated by the Scottish side. The region on the referendum on Brexit in June 2016 voted against the UK out of the EU, are struggling to intensify and strengthen their economic ties before Britain finally leaves the EU in March 2019. One of the countries with which Scotland sees prospects for cooperation is Russia.

The restoration of trade

According to Abramov, Scotland is a traditional economic partner of Russia. Russian-Scottish turnover in the past year, as well as with the UK, for the first time in the last three years has moved to growth. In January-September 2017 the trade turnover increased by 22.7% to 340,3 million dollars compared to the same period in 2016. Scottish exports grew by 4.3% to a 147.6 million dollars, imports increased by 41.9% to 192,7 million dollars. The negative balance of Scottish trade with Russia amounted to 45.1 million dollars.

According to British statistics, in the list of countries-partners of the Scottish trade volume Russia occupies the 26th place, the 29th largest exporter and 22nd largest importer. The Scottish government has set a goal to significantly improve these figures.

The areas of mutual interests

As noted by the trade representative, an important detail is that the authorities in Scotland have made the first step to continuing the dialogue with Russia and will strengthen business ties between the two countries.

«The purpose of the Scottish delegation arrived to meet us, was to discuss how to accelerate the development of bilateral relations. They are ready to outline a number of mutually beneficial areas for cooperation. First and foremost, is energy. Scotland, in contrast to the traditional image of the country as the land of lakes and temples, is a very powerful, highly industrialized region,» — said Abramov.

The birthplace of whiskey and the Loch ness monster is strong in such industries as power engineering, oil production and refining, education, and computer technology.

«Opportunities in all these areas they would like to use in cooperation with Russia. At this stage we agreed that in the near future will define more specific areas and projects for further work. It should be noted that the proximity of economic structures with a focus on oil and oil production in Russia and Scotland creates a natural point of contact for our economies», — said the Agency interlocutor.

The presence of sea ports also contributes to the fact that Scotland has oil and gas distribution hubs. Great potential for cooperation in well developed in Scotland alternate power is wind, tidal and other stations.

«Green energy is another of those areas where Scotland and Russia have a point of interest. They have a good experience in this field. There are many interesting directions in which we are willing to work and I think we will succeed,» — said the head of the Russian foreign trade Ministry.

Some of the areas of active dialogue between Russia and Scotland continues. These days in the UK holds business meetings the delegation of the Russian Innopolis, which will provide, including in Scotland, a number of projects in the field of IT-technologies.

Expectations

The head of the Russian trade delegation is confident that by the end of this year, Russia and Scotland will sign a number of contracts. «I don’t think we’ll do it at the interagency level, but that may be specific projects – Yes, I’m sure. Already scheduled arrival in the UK of people with specific projects. We also invited representatives of business and government of Scotland to visit in may, the St. Petersburg international economic forum (SPIEF), so they formed their delegation,» — said Abramov.

«The fact this meeting is interesting because in past years there was no such kind of contacts with officials, government bodies UK no aldabraensis or regional level. And the fact that Scotland now takes the initiative in the development of bilateral relations, it is very nice. And from our side, this initiative meets only support!»— said the trade representative.

According to the trade mission, in 2017 the trade turnover between Russia and Britain rose for the first time in the last three years, an increase in January-September by 25%, to 9.3 billion dollars.

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