Asia Scotland Institute is trying something new this month, something ambitious.
Six months in the planning, our inaugural “Building Bridges: Connecting Scotland with its International Communities” conference (www.buildingbridgesconference.co.uk) will be held at the RBS conference centre at Gogaburn on 17 and 18 March.
We’ve booked some great speakers, including Elizabeth Linder, Facebook’s government and politics specialists for Europe, Africa and the Middle East.
And we have a series of excellent talks and panel discussions lined up, all with a clear goal in mind: to explore how Scotland can best connect with the approximately 50-million people around the world who are linked to us by heritage or by a strong affinity to our country.
Offering his support, Lord Livingston, Minister of State for Trade and Investment, said: “Scotland’s future is as part of an interconnected and highly interdependent world.
“The diaspora of Scots living abroad and people who have come here to live and work, either as students or businesspeople, are part of that rich international community. We must make the best of those connections and the goodwill that the Scottish brand has.
“The ‘Building Bridges Conference’ is a welcome way of providing impetus to boosting Scotland’s efforts to succeed, especially in the high growth markets of tomorrow.
“As a proud Scot I am delighted to support Scotland’s efforts to increase exports and increase the number of businesses attracted here from abroad.”
Of course Asia Scotland Institute’s main focus remains Asia. Our primary mission is to support entrepreneurial Scots who seek to make the most of what is being called the Century of Asia.
But for two days we are broadening our remit; we are going global. We hope you can join us on 17 and 18 March for what promises to be a great conference.