Scottish Government expands overseas office network with Copenhagen launch
The Scottish Government has added to its footprint of international trading outposts with the launch of a base in Danish capital Copenhagen.
The aim of the office is to strengthen relationships between Scotland and the Nordic countries, with the government noting that it will “unlock new economic and trading opportunities by increasing Scotland's cultural and economic visibility across the Nordic region”.
When he announced the launch of the office in September last year, external affairs secretary Angus Robertson said Scotland shares “deep cultural and historical ties with the Nordic nations, with whom we have so much in common, and a mutual sense of affinity that stretches far beyond geographical proximity”.
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, who is in Copenhagen to open the office, noted that the Nordic region is one of the biggest providers of inward investment to Scotland, which in turn exported £2.6bn of goods and services to Denmark, Norway and Sweden in 2019.
“We have a centuries-long partnership with countries in the Nordic region and cultural, social and linguistic traces of our shared history and heritage can be found across Scotland,” she said.
“To this day, we have much in common with similar population sizes, dynamic cities, and large rural communities.
“We are nations of innovators that share the same ambition to accelerate decarbonisation, and we continue to work closely to exchange expertise on renewable energy technologies and sustainable economic development.
“This office will support that ambition and build on the strong ties that already exist between us by promoting investment, trade and economic opportunities to benefit people and businesses across our countries.”
The office is co-located with the government’s international trade agency Scottish Development International inside the British Embassy in Copenhagen.
The Scottish Government now has nine international bases focused on building trading relationships, with a Warsaw launch planned for the current parliament.
Responding to a Freedom of Information inquiry lodged at the beginning of this year, the government said the budget for the new offices would be “similar to [that of] existing Scottish Government overseas offices”.
Its Brussels and London bases cost by far the most to run at £2.3m and £2.2m respectively, followed by Washington DC at £805,000. The other offices, which include Beijing, Ottawa and Paris, cost between £500,000 and £600,000 to run in the 2020-21 financial year.