Scottish Govt releases 'India Plan'

The plan focuses on four areas - trade and investment, education and science, tourism and cultural links.Launching the plan, Scotland External Affairs Minister Fiona Hyslop said: "The historical and enduring links between India and Scotland put us in a strong position to benefit from doing business with one of the world's fastest expanding economies.
"Links in education, business, tourism and culture are well-established and there are already strong collaborative relationships between Scottish and Indian organisations in these areas.

"The value of the Plan is in bringing a strategic focus to Scotland's engagement with India, supporting the Scottish Government's Purpose of building sustainable economic growth.

"We have worked closely with the business community, further and higher education bodies, tourism and cultural bodies in compiling this Plan," Hyslop said.
The plan gives an opportunity to focus the collective efforts and maximise the mutual benefit for both countries.

"With the Commonwealth Games being held in Delhi this year, building on existing cultural links will be invaluable in securing a successful cultural programme to accompany the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow and a lasting legacy for the people of Scotland," according to Hyslop.

The Indian Consul General in Scotland Anil Kumar Anand said: "India greatly welcomes the initiative of the Scottish Government to evolve a strategic plan on greater engagement with India.

Such a plan would provide the necessary framework to intensify and focus on selected areas of cooperation for mutual benefit and raise the profile and content of the relations between India and Scotland.

"It is excellent that the Plan is being launched this year when we look forward to Delhi hosting the Commonwealth Games in October. There will be closer engagement between our countries in the run up to the Games and as Delhi hands over to Glasgow for 2014."
Around 10 Indian companies have made a total investment of 700 million pounds in Scotland during the last five years and employed about 2,500 people, making India an important investor in Scotland.India is Scotland's second largest international market for higher students. Under Fresh Talent: Working in Scotland Scheme - now subsumed into the UK-wide Tier One: Post Study immigration route - around 3,000 Indian graduates remained in Scotland post-study, working under a dedicated Scottish visa.
Indian tourists spent an average of 16 million pounds in Scotland each year between 2005 and 2008.

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