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Scottish First Minister extends best wishes to Chinese New Year


09:51, February 12, 2013

EDINBURGH, Feb. 10 (Xinhua) -- Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond has extended best wishes to the people of China and hailed the strong bond of friendship between both sides of Scotland and China.

In a Chinese new year message in a video clip published on the homepage of the Scottish government website, Salmond said as the year of the Dragon draws to a close and people welcome the year of the Snake, "I would like to extend my best wishes to the people of China", and it is an appropriate time to reflect on the strengthening relations, which bring great benefits to both Scotland and China.

With Scottish exports to the world's second largest economy rising sharply, the Scottish first minister noted in his message to Chinese people living in Scotland and across the world that Chinese business had brought in an additional 605 million pounds (956 million U.S. dollars) to the Scottish economy, said the press release on Sunday.

"Since the Scottish Government first published a China plan back in 2006, and gave a five-year strategy for engagement with your wonderful country, Scottish exports to China have risen by 45 percent and in turn Scotland has seen major investments from China in industries such as oil and gas, refining, textiles and engineering. "

He added that the deepening friendship is appreciated on both sides and the recently released new China Strategy has been welcomed by the Chinese Government to express the highly valued partnership would bring "promising prospects".

"It is clear that Chinese investors see Scotland -- the land of invention -- as a great place to do business and we know Chinese people are increasingly keen to get hold of our top quality food and drink products with exports of Scottish salmon and whisky now at record levels." Salmond said.

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