External affairs secretary to take part in Tartan Day parade

Angus Robertson will hold a series of engagements, including meeting technology investors, in a visit to the US.

External affairs secretary to take part in Tartan Day parade PA Media

Scotland’s external affairs secretary will meet investors as he heads to the US for Tartan Week.

Angus Robertson will visit Washington DC and New York City, meeting technology firms and the World Bank and taking part in the annual Tartan Day parade.

Actor Dougray Scott is leading the parade along 6th Avenue in New York City on April 6 as Grand Marshal.

Scotland office minister John Lamont will also take part in the parade, accompanied with performers from The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo – two pipers, four dancers and a fiddle player.

The Tartan Week celebration of Scottish arts and culture emerged after the US Senate official declared April 6 Tartan Day in 1998, to honour the contributions that American Scots have made to the US.

Among other engagements, Mr Robertson will also meet technology firms which invest or are planning to invest in Scotland, and meet World Bank representatives to discuss Scotland’s funding for inclusive education projects in partner countries in Africa.

Mr Robertson said: “Tartan Week is an opportunity to celebrate Scotland’s historic ties with North America, which flourish to this day through cultural exchange, trade, investment and tourism.

“The US is Scotland’s most important international trading partner, as our largest export destination and source of inward investment, and our third biggest market for non-EU international students, with over 6,300 US students choosing to study here in 2021/22.

“I want to encourage greater connections, and greater trade and investment between our countries, which is why I’m meeting a range of existing and potential investors during my time in the US.

“As a showcase of Scottish culture and heritage in the US, Tartan Week is also a major opportunity for our culture and creative sectors to reach new audiences and markets, in line with our recently published international culture strategy, and our Scottish Connections Framework, which aims to strengthen Scotland’s links with our diaspora throughout the world.”

Meanwhile, Mr Lamont will hold a UK Government reception at Diageo’s New York HQ in the World Trade Centre to celebrate Scotland’s produce and culture.

Attendees will hear from representatives of The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo and Edinburgh Fringe Festival and be able to raise a dram of Diageo’s famous Johnnie Walker whisky.

Mr Lamont said: “Last year I saw Tartan Week for the first time, and was blown away by the passion of those who celebrate the links between Scotland and the US.

“I want us to strengthen our links even more by promoting our most important exports – whisky, energy and financial services – and our rich culture.

“I look forward to marching down Sixth Avenue with partners from The Edinburgh Royal Military Tattoo, Diageo and the British Consulate – who all do so much to represent the UK and Scotland across the world.”

Jason Barrett, The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo chief executive, said he was delighted to have been invited, adding: “We have bold ambitions to share our unique and stirring performances with the world and it’s a great opportunity to showcase the talent of the Tattoo’s musicians and dancers.”

Mr Lamont will also take part in a discussion on attracting US investment into the Scottish energy sector and a reception for Scottish financial technology company leaders from New York’s financial services sector.

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