Scotland, which hosts the next Commonwealth Games, is highly
impressed with Delhi's success in holding the multi-sport event,
which it says will prove a "challenge to emulate" in Glasgow in
Scotland is also keen to scale up economic, energy and educational
collaboration between the two sides.
"Holding a multi-sporting event is a challenge for any country in
the world. Delhi hosted very successful Commonwealth Games. It
will be a challenge to emulate," Scotland's First Minister Alex
Salmond, who heads the provincial Scottish government, told IANS
in an interview here.
"India is a major sporting power and a major world power. Scotland
will have to be on our march to match the colour, vibrancy and
spectacular nature of the opening ceremony," Salmond said.
Glasgow was officially handed over the flag by Delhi Thursday
night for the 2014 Commonwealth Games.
Salmond, an ardent proponent of Scottish independence, said he was
enthused by the performance of Scotland, which won 26 medals,
including nine gold. He was also highly impressed with the
"fantastic time" he had at the athletes' village.
Blending sports and business, Salmond, who came here Monday on his
maiden visit, is juggling time between meeting senior Indian
ministers, businessmen and educationists to promote ties between
India and Scotland, a semi-autonomous province of the United
Kingdom with a population of around five million.
In his interaction with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Salmond
shared his ideas for taking business, education and energy ties
between India and Scotland, home to 35,000 Indians, to another
level. "We see a huge potential in the business relationship
between India and Scotland. Indian companies have invested 700
million pounds in Scotland, creating 3,200 jobs. We want to double
and even treble trade and investment in the next five years." He
said that 16 Scottish companies are already operating in India.
Forging closer collaboration in education and research is another
promising area. "Scotland has a global reputation for research and
the quality of its educational institutions. We want to develop
joint ventures with India in developing intellectual capital and
in nurturing medicinal products," he said.
Scotland and India Tuesday signed four educational agreements to
promote joint research in fields like biotechnology and
bio-informatics, diabetes and foot care training, IT and video
The Scottish government has identified India as a key focus
country for expanding strategic and economic engagement.
Scotland's Minister for External Affairs Fiona Hyslop has
published an India Plan that focuses on four key areas - tourism,
education and science, trade and investment, and cultural links.
Around 4,000 Indian students also study in Scottish colleges and
universities and nearly 20 Bollywood films have been shot in
picturesque locales in Scotland.
Bilateral collaboration in energy holds huge potential, said
Salmond, while pointing out that Scotland is a global leader in
renewable energy that accounts for 40 percent of its electricity
Scotland, potentially Europe's green energy powerhouse, is
estimated to have 206 Gigawatts of practical offshore wind, wave
and tidal resource, worth around 200 billion pounds.
Scotland has offered its expertise to India in developing
off-shore wind energy and proposed a plan to map India's offshore
energy which could be worth 60 Gw, said Salmond. Scottish Energy
Minister Jim Mather is expected to come to India next month with
12 top energy companies to discuss these proposals in greater
detail, said Salmond.
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