The Prime Minister of a German state has visited Aberdeen in a bid to promote economic cultural links with Scotland.
Lower Saxony Prime Minister David McAllister, who has Scottish roots, was in the Granite City on Friday where he was welcomed by the Lord Provost George Adam at the Town House.
He also visited the Altens headquarters of international oil and gas services company KCA Deutag and opened Baker Hughes’s new £15m chemical supply base in Dyce.
Mr McAllister said the aim of his trip was to further cooperation between Scotland and Lower Saxony as well as encouraging more Scottish youngsters to learn German as an additional language.
He said: “There are two main reasons for this trip. Firstly I think Scotland and Lower Saxony can collaborate more closely when it comes to energy, especially energy research. We both have a lot of common views and I think it would be good for our universities and other institutions could cooperate more closely.
“The other focus of this trip is on education and science. We know that the German language is being taught and learnt less in Scottish schools than it used to be. We know that French is the first foreign language for most of the young Scottish people but there are good reasons to choose German as a second language.
“Germany’s economy is doing extremely well, we have our lowest level of unemployment for more than 20 years and we are interested in people coming to our country to work. When it comes to a good career in a German firm it’s very useful to speak German and we are very interested in fostering close relations between our two countries.”
Berlin-born Mr McAllister, who is a lawyer by profession, is a member of the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) party. He started his political career as a member of the Bad Bederkesa Town Council and a member of Cuxhaven District Council in 1996, becoming Mayor of Bad Bederkesa in 2002. He has been a member of the federal state parliament of Lower Saxony since 2002 and became Prime Minister in 2010. He is married with two daughters.
His father was born and grew up in Glasgow and went on to work for the British military in Germany as a civil servant.