We have a new website go to gov.scot

Scotland's Strategy for Stronger Engagement with China


4. China Strategy: Objectives

The China Strategy consists of 10 objectives articulating what we want to achieve from our engagement with China:

  1. Raise understanding of Chinese language and culture in Scotland
  2. Increase student flows between Scotland and China
  3. Expand the awarding of Scottish qualifications in China
  4. Attract skilled Chinese to experience living and working in Scotland
  5. Strengthen bilateral science links
  6. Attract increased Chinese tourism to Scotland
  7. Increase trade between Scotland and China
  8. Expand connections between businesses in Scotland and China
  9. Work with China to address environmental challenges
  10. Raise the profile and understanding of Scotland in China

Within a focussed set, these objectives are designed to encompass most areas of Sino-Scottish activity. In framing these objectives, we have been guided by the advice of the China Forward Planning Group, an advisory panel of Scotland-China stakeholders. 3

In order to gauge progress in delivering against these objectives, each is associated with a specific, measurable target or indicator. These targets are not intended for the government alone to deliver: as already noted, their delivery will depend on the contribution of many stakeholders, often outside of government. Nor should the targets, which are necessarily narrow, be seen as the only aspect of each objective that needs to be delivered: it is the wider objectives set out above that are to be pursued.

A common deadline, 2010, has been set for each of the targets. This deadline strikes a balance between, on the one hand, allowing time for initiatives and policies of the strategy to have an impact and, on the other hand, instilling a need for early action.

The following pages set out each of the 10 strategic objectives and their corresponding targets and indicators.

Objective 1: Raise understanding of Chinese language and culture in Scotland

Target 1:

At least 200 pupils studying for Chinese language national qualifications in Scottish schools by 2010

Target 2:

Improve awareness and understanding of Chinese culture in Scotland, by 2010(as measured by forthcoming survey data)

This objective is about both raising understanding of China and Chinese culture in Scotland generally and developing Chinese language learning in a focussed number of Scottish schools.

Chinese is the most spoken first language in the world. As China grows in economic, political and cultural influence it will become increasingly important that our people are able to learn about Chinese language and culture. This carries forward the aims of Scottish Ministers' international education strategy: International Outlook: Educating Young Scots about the World.

The ethnic Chinese population in Scotland is an important and growing section of our society. Through this objective, and consistent with the One Scotland, Many Cultures campaign, we seek to promote recognition and understanding among wider Scottish society for Chinese culture. We recognise the valuable contribution made by the Chinese schools and cultural organisations across Scotland, which play an important role in the teaching of Chinese language and culture.

The first target places several requirements upon the Executive and its agencies including:

  • To develop new Chinese language national qualifications
  • To recruit and train Chinese-language teachers and language assistants
  • To ensure that relevant study materials are available

Successful delivery will also require adequate take up by schools and by pupils. It is therefore important that awareness-raising activities, such as the current summer schools in China programme for Scottish schoolchildren, are pursued which stimulate interest among students, teachers and parents in learning about China and its culture and language. To advance understanding among teachers, Scottish Ministers are funding an exchange programme that will enable Scottish teachers to undertake study visits to China. We recognise the important role of local authorities in fostering learning about China in schools and developing links with schools in China. We also welcome the recent creation of the Scotland-China Education Network.

Achievement of the second target will require various measures to raise awareness and understanding of Chinese culture more generally in Scotland. To this end, Scottish Ministers are joint funding Scotland's new Confucius Institute to promote learning about Chinese culture and language to be based at the University of Edinburgh. In addition, we will continue to provide financial support for visiting Chinese cultural exhibitions and further awareness-raising activities.

In order to gauge our success in achieving the second target, we will track our impact on raising awareness and understanding among the general public by conducting survey research across Scotland in 2006 to baseline current perceptions and intentions relating to China. We will then be able to repeat these surveys in the future to monitor the impact of our activities and ensure that progress is being made.

Objective 2: Increase student flows between Scotland and China


Grow the number of Chinese students in Scotland faster than the UK average over the period to 2010

We want to see more Chinese students coming to Scotland and more Scots studying in China. Working with our partners, we will seek to encourage greater flows in both directions.

The specific target relates to Chinese students in Scotland. At present, Chinese nationals make up the largest international student body in Scotland, with over 4,000 students in 2004/05. We believe that increasing Chinese student numbers in Scotland and expanding alumni in China benefits both our economies and creates important, lasting bonds between our two countries.

We recognise that that international competition for English-language education is intensifying. Whereas, in the past, Scotland has attracted a below average share of Chinese students within the UK, we now want to see Scotland leading the UK in attracting Chinese students. We also recognise that any increase in student numbers must be sustainable: it must not compromise the quality of the educational experience for any student. A good distribution of students of different nationalities across courses and institutions is essential.

Working with partners, we will seek to achieve this target through:

  • providing high-profile scholarships in Scotland for the highest-calibre Chinese students;
  • improving the overall student experience in Scotland (both the educational product and the extra-curricular experience);
  • more effective marketing of Scottish education and the Fresh Talent initiative in China.

Progress against this target will be measured using data for the UK and Scotland provided by the UK Higher Education Statistics Agency.

Objective 3: Expand the awarding of Scottish qualifications in China


Double the number of Scottish qualifications awarded in China by 2010

The provision of education services within China by overseas or "transnational" providers is a high growth market and represents an increasingly important export for the Scottish economy.

Scottish educational organisations already deliver a range of qualifications in China. Scottish degrees are being awarded in China directly by Scottish universities and through intermediaries such as the Interactive University, based in Edinburgh.

The Scottish Qualifications Authority ( SQA) provides qualifications equivalent to Higher National Diplomas ( HNDs) and Highers that have been specially tailored to Chinese needs. In 2005/06, around 3,500 SQA qualifications will be awarded within China.

The Interactive University ( IU), based in Edinburgh, administers the Sino-Scottish Universities Programme. The IU works with local education partners in China and elsewhere to provide offshore access to Scottish education through e-learning. The e-learning materials are developed by the IU in partnership with Scottish schools, colleges and higher education institutions and lead to qualifications validated by the SQA or the relevant educational institution.

Delivery of this objective will continue to be undertaken by the relevant awarding institutions with various kinds of support provided by Scottish Ministers. The Scottish Affairs Office in Beijing will work with partners including EducationUKScotland to promote further opportunities for awarding Scottish qualifications in China.

Progress against this target will be monitored through data provided by the Scottish institutions awarding qualifications in China.

Objective 4: Attract skilled Chinese to experience living and working in Scotland


Grow applications from Chinese nationals to Fresh Talent related schemes by 10% p.a. on average to 2010

For well-known demographic and economic development reasons, Scotland needs to attract skilled labour. Attracting skilled Chinese workers - either directly from China or by attracting Chinese students to remain following completion of their studies here - to experience working in Scotland will help to expand our skilled workforce, as well as bringing new ideas and diversity to our economy.

Further economic benefits should arise in the medium term: when the balance of these skilled Chinese return home to China, the contact network between Scots and Chinese will continue to expand thereby strengthening bilateral economic links. The Chinese economy will also be enriched as these students return equipped not only with a first-rate, Scottish education but with work experience in a Western economy.

Immigration is a UK Government reserved policy area and all Fresh Talent related schemes fall within the UK managed migration system. The specific target seeks to deliver substantial growth in the number of applications from Chinese nationals to Fresh Talent related schemes between now and 2010. Current schemes include: Fresh Talent: Working in Scotland; the Scotland International Scholarships Programme; Scottish Networks International - which helps to place foreign graduates in Scottish businesses; the Relocation Advisory Service; and Scottish Enterprise's Talent Scotland scheme.

Many stakeholders have an important role to play in delivering this objective. Efforts to raise awareness of the various UK managed migration schemes in China will have a bearing, as will effective marketing of Scottish further and higher education opportunities. These will be reinforced by a targeted communications campaign to raise the profile of Scotland in China as a place to live, work and study, drawing on the wider Scotland's International Image campaign.

We will also continue to work with partners in further and higher education to improve the experience of Chinese students during their studies in Scotland, so that more will wish to stay in Scotland post graduation. In addition, partners such as Scottish Networks International, University Careers Services and CareersScotland will have an important role to play in helping Chinese and other international students to find a job in Scotland following completion of their studies here.

Objective 5: Strengthen bilateral science links


Increase significantly the number of research projects involving collaboration between scientists in Scotland and China, by 2010(as measured by indicators such as funded projects and joint publications)

Strengthening bilateral science links will become ever more important, as China increasingly becomes a global power in scientific research: China is already educating over five million science and engineering students each year. The more closely the research bases in Scotland and China are connected, the more scope there will be for harnessing each other's relative strengths.

photo of The visitor gateway to Lijiang Botanic Garden and Field Station in Yunnan Province - the first UK-China joint laboratory.
The visitor gateway to Lijiang Botanic Garden and Field Station in Yunnan Province - the first UK-China joint laboratory.

The benefits of scientific co-operation have been demonstrated by the long-standing research links between Edinburgh's Royal Botanic Garden and Chinese counterparts.
Not only have these links been used to advance global scientific research, they have also become a platform for developing political, cultural and business links between Scotland and China.

Dedicating resources to develop bilateral research links with China today should be seen as an investment in developing Scotland's international science base for the future. In the coming decades, much of the application of global scientific developments will be focussed on China - as it becomes the world's leading manufacturing economy and consequently a key consumer for technological advances in manufacturing - from capital equipment to biotechnology.

This objective advances the international strand of Scottish Ministers' Science Strategy for Scotland, which highlights the importance both of international collaboration and of access for researchers in Scotland to the global scientific network. The objective complements and builds on the 2005 Year of British Science in China and ongoing activity to strengthen research links at the UK-China level.

Numerous collaborative links are already emerging between Scottish and Chinese research institutions. Scottish Ministers are keen to promote more links and already fund a Sino-Scottish researcher exchange programme administered by the Royal Society of Edinburgh. We will now also make development funding available to the Main Research Providers for collaborative Sino-Scottish environmental research (see Objective 9).

In order to track delivery of the target, we intend to undertake new research in 2006 to map joint projects and publications involving scientists in Scotland and international partners in key countries around the world. We will then monitor how such links with China develop by 2010.

Objective 6: Attract increased Chinese tourism to Scotland


Attract at least 30,000 Chinese visitors per annum to Scotland by 2010, generating revenue of £11 million per annum

Projections for the numbers of international tourists emanating from China over the years ahead are dramatic. The World Tourism Organisation predicts that there will be 100 million Chinese international tourists p.a. by 2020. With Approved Destination Status ( ADS) for the UK coming into effect in July 2005, Chinese tourism visas are now available to visit Scotland for the first time. (Previously tourists came on education or work visas.) These developments present Scotland with a significant tourism growth opportunity, with ensuing benefits for the economy, and with the potential to benefit the rural economy in particular.

In 2004, Scotland attracted around 11,000 tourists from China's mainland who spent an estimated £4 million. The target is to grow tourist numbers from China to at least 30,000 per annum by 2010 and to increase their spend in Scotland to at least £11 million. When visitors from Hong Kong are also taken into account, this would amount to a £70 million contribution to our economy by 2010.

This growth in numbers will be achieved in part through stronger marketing of Scotland as a tourism destination in targeted areas of China. VisitScotland, working in partnership with VisitBritain, will lead the public-sector contribution; the wider efforts to promote Scotland in China should also have an impact (see Objective 10).

Of course, achievement of this objective will depend for the most part on the work of the many people who make their living in Scotland within the tourism industry. The golf-tourism package announced by the First Minister during his visit to China in March 2006 is one example of how the sector is already rising to the challenge. Collaborative links - including mutual promotion - between tourism venues in Scotland and China are being developed, such as that between Glamis Castle and the Penglai Pavillion, a 2-million-visitor per year attraction in Shandong Province.

Further steps need to be taken to prepare the Scottish tourism industry for an influx of Chinese visitors - for example, with more information translated into Chinese - to help our Chinese visitors increase the enjoyment of their visit to Scotland. VisitScotland is active both in preparing the Scottish tourist industry to receive Chinese visitors and in promoting Scotland as a tourism destination in China. In particular, a Mandarin website is being prepared with downloadable information for the sector. VisitScotland is also hosting visits from Chinese tour operators and travel journalists to raise the profile of Scotland as a travel destination in China. These efforts will be reinforced by our drive to strengthen general awareness and understanding of Chinese culture and language in Scotland (see Objective 1).

Our success in delivering this target, both in terms of tourist numbers and associated spend, will be monitored through the International Passenger Survey.

Objective 7: Increase trade between Scotland and China


Raise the share of Scotland's exports to China by 2010, in relation to the European OECD average

Expanding trade in goods and services in both directions between Scotland and China will bring significant benefits to both our economies.

China represents a unique growth opportunity, unparalleled since the rise of USA around a century ago. So far this century China has accounted for more growth in the world economy than the entire G7 group of major industrialised economies put together - underlining the potential market opportunity.

As China is such a high growth economy, countries should generally be able to boost their overall economic growth by increasing export exposure to China. At present Scotland's exports to China constitute a relatively low share of our total exports: around 1% in 2004. This compares to an average export share among European OECD countries of around 2%. (We compare ourselves to the European OECD average as opposed to full OECD because certain non- OECD countries in closer proximity to China such as Japan, Korea and Australia tend to have higher export exposure to China.) For comparison, the overall share of China in UK exports is estimated at 2.7%.

In addition to exporting, effective procurement by Scottish businesses from China will often make the difference between maintaining global competitiveness and losing business, particularly when competitors abroad are themselves sourcing from low-cost markets such as China. Scottish businesses therefore need to be able to fully harness the Chinese economy - whether as an outlet for exports or as a source for inputs.

Private companies will, of course, be key to delivery of this target. The Enterprise Networks and Scottish Development International will play a supporting role. SDI have recently doubled their network of staff in China and have made additional investment in terms of awareness-raising about the opportunities and challenges of the Chinese market and in terms of information provision to Scottish companies. In addition, those local authorities with China links will also play an important role in facilitating trade links between companies.

These efforts will be reinforced by the higher profile for Scotland and the goods and services we produce that our marketing effort will seek to deliver (see Objective 10) and by the various other measures to equip ourselves to do business with China. Other stakeholders such as UK Trade & Investment ( UKTI), the China Britain Business Council, the Scottish Council for Development and Industry ( SCDI), and sectoral organisations would also be able to make important contributions.

Progress against this target will be monitored through the annual Global Connections Survey, for Scottish data, which will be compared to IMF data for European OECD exports.

Objective 8: Expand connections between businesses in Scotland and China


Significantly increase connections between Scottish and Chinese businesses by 2010

In line with the global connections theme of A Smart, Successful Scotland and the drive to expand knowledge flows into and out from Scotland, we seek to increase connections between businesses in Scotland and China. In addition to the direct trading links covered in the previous objective, these connections take several forms including direct investment, alliances, joint ventures and licensing agreements - located both in Scotland and in China. It is through such connections that knowledge can flow between our two countries, bringing with it opportunities for mutual economic gain.

photo of Howden's factory in Weihai, Shandong Province.
The visitor gateway to Lijiang Botanic Garden and Field Station in Yunnan Province - the first UK-China joint laboratory.

Given the market opportunities that China presents - both in terms of servicing the Chinese market and as a cost-effective production centre for global markets - there is good reason to believe that Scotland will benefit if more businesses establish connections with China. Several major Scottish businesses have already formed important connections with businesses in China, including Howden, Clyde Blowers, Scottish & Newcastle and - in the financial services sector - the Royal Bank of Scotland and Standard Life.

Similarly, more Chinese businesses establishing connections with Scotland would benefit both our economies. Scotland needs to be positioned to attract Chinese businesses, particularly within the EU. For example, that position might be one of serving as a supply-chain management hub for Chinese businesses seeking to penetrate the EU market - dealing with sales, marketing, after-sales support, etc.

Increasing connections between Chinese and Scottish businesses will be supported by the activities of SDI - both in China and Scotland - as well as by the efforts of other stakeholders such as local authorities, the China Britain Business Council, SCDI, UKTI and the sectoral representative organisations. Also important would be efforts to raise the profile of the Scottish economy in China through various means including: marketing; visits by Ministers and business leaders (in both directions) and developing science links.

We will be able to monitor the expansion of these connections through the Global Connections Survey. The 2006 survey (due to be published in December) is set to gather new data covering Scottish businesses' relationships with China (and other significant economies) as well as data on current and future export destinations and we will use these data to track our progress to 2010.

Objective 9: Work with China to address environmental challenges

Target 1:

At least 10 new environmental research projects, involving Scottish and Chinese institutions, by 2010

Target 2:

Scottish-based firms to support the installation of 60 GW of clean coal/green power generating capacity in China by 2010

China's environmental challenges are a pressing issue for both China and the global community due to their implications for climate change. China is already the world's second largest emitter of greenhouse gases; with its economic development and energy consumption continuing to race ahead this is a global issue that no country should ignore.

Recent decades have seen a reallocation of industrial activities across the globe, with many of the more polluting activities having migrated to China and other parts of the developing world while advanced economies such as Scotland's have typically moved into less polluting services. Scottish households still consume goods produced by environmentally harmful processes but the side-effects are no longer borne in Scotland. In short, the pollution from the production of many of the goods consumed in Scotland is now suffered in China.

For its part, the Chinese government is increasingly shifting its policy focus towards sustainable development: it has targets to reduce energy intensity by 20% by 2010 and to generate 15% of energy from renewables by 2020. We believe that, working together, Scottish and Chinese expertise can help to address these challenges. This objective is consistent with Scottish Ministers' green jobs strategy and complements both Choosing Our Future: Scotland's Sustainable Development Strategy and the Scottish Climate Change Programme.

There are various ways in which Scotland can work with China to address environmental challenges. Firstly, certain Scottish firms are world leaders in clean coal technology: China is the world's largest user of coal and needs to install such technology in its power stations to reduce harmful emissions. Secondly, a range of Scottish organisations are sharing their expertise in environmental management. The Royal Botanic Garden in Edinburgh has been involved in plant conservation and the development of urban green-spaces in China. Scottish firm, Alba Trees, has helped to combat desertification in China. Scottish scientific institutions are researching jointly with Chinese counterparts on environmental issues. And Scotland has other areas of expertise that could also be shared with China including: energy efficiency; resource efficiency; regeneration; oil and gas infrastructure management; and nuclear decommissioning.

Delivery of the first target will be supported by Executive-funded programmes, such as the Sino-Scottish researcher exchange programme administered by the Royal Society of Edinburgh. Scottish Ministers already fund Scottish research institutions that are undertaking such environmental research with Chinese counterparts. We will now also make development funding available to the Main Research Providers 4 to enable further Sino-Scottish environmental research.

Delivery of the second target would be led by the efforts of Scottish companies and organisations in China in the power sector, with practical support from Scottish Ministers and agencies. To put the figure of 60 GW over the next 5 years into perspective: Scotland's current total generating capacity is around 12 GW; 60 GW is roughly equivalent to 100 conventional coal-fired power stations in China. Delivery against this target will be monitored by Scottish Enterprise's Energy team working with companies in the sector.

Objective 10: Raise the profile and understanding of Scotland in China


Improve survey results for profile/understanding of Scotland in targeted groups within specific areas of China by 2010

Scotland already enjoys a degree of profile in China: many Chinese have studied the poetry of Robert Burns - Auld Lang Syne has become widely known in China as the Friendship Song and many young people have seen Braveheart. Through these and other prisms, Scotland is known for its scenic landscapes and history. Our educational, scientific and engineering strengths also have some resonance in certain sections of the population.

Collectively, we need to capitalise on the traditional images of Scotland, which clearly appeal to many Chinese, and blend them with images of modern, dynamic Scotland, which are also important to the Chinese audience. To do this, we will draw on work already underway in promoting Scotland's International Image and will deploy this branding effectively through a targeted communications campaign in China. We recognise that the formal links between local authorities in Scotland and their counterparts in China are already serving to promote greater understanding of social, cultural and educational aspects of Scottish life. We will also work with partners including Scottish Development International, the British Council and business organisations to strengthen Scotland's sectoral branding in China.

In order to raise awareness and understanding of Scottish culture in China, we will provide financial support to a series of Scottish cultural events. This will include participating in the UK-China Connections Through Culture programme. And we will work with the Scottish diaspora and those with an affiliation for Scotland in China - including GlobalScots, Global Friends of Scotland, and Chinese alumni from Scottish universities and colleges - to position Scotland in China as a place to live, work, study and do business.

We want to convey an image of modern Scotland in China and raise understanding about the devolved powers of Scottish Ministers in areas such as health, education and law. We will seek to share expertise and experience with China in these areas. For example, the Lord Advocate visited China in 2005 at the invitation of the Chinese government and participated in a conference in which he shared some of Scotland's legal experience. Scottish Ministers, when visiting China, will continue to engage constructively on governance issues.

In order to monitor our success in raising Scotland's profile in China, we will conduct survey research in targeted areas and among targeted groups in China to baseline current perceptions and intentions relating to Scotland. We will repeat these surveys in the future to assess the degree of impact of our activities. This reflects the view of the Scottish Parliament's European and External Relations Committee that "we need an up-to-date understanding of what people in other countries think of Scotland, its people, its institutions and what we can offer". 5 We will repeat these surveys in the future to assess the degree of impact of our activities in raising profile and awareness in China.