Busy business day in Toronto

6 04 2009

It being (officially) Tartan Day – the anniversary of the Declaration of Arbroath – it was fitting that my principle task was to deliver  a lunch time address at the Economic Club of Canada on how Scotland is responding to the economic downturn and what our distinctive strengths are in the  midst of this downturn – the strengths in other words that will carry us through.

It  seemed to be a good , productive, session  with the business people gathered raising issues from engagement with Europe, to cultural links, to the market for Scottish meat.  Next we were off, img_41491battling through the snow, to the great business success story that is Research in Motion.  They produce 32 million BlackBerrys per year and I was not surprised to hear that innovative Scots play a leading role in the organisation.  I am grateful to David Perston (originally from Renfrew)  who took us on a facinating tour of the production plant and then we met with a group of ten employees from Scotland who are deeply involved in  the phenomenal progress of the company which just last week announced record results, despite the downturn.     Today’s business focus was cemented with aninterview on Business News Network to talk about Scotland’s economy, the parallels between our countries and most importantly, the opportunities that exist for business expansion.  This was also of course an opportunity to fly the Homecoming flag and I invited the Scottish diaspora to come home, although not all at one time!  Watch the  interview in a clip online.  On BNNAnd now it’s back to culture and I am away  out to dinner with the Consul General  who has invited  an very  interesting group of cultural figures to explore our links and what promise they hold for the future.  Tomorrow I am meeting the Mayor of Hamilton to make a real “Homecoming” link, then giving a lecture at the Munk Institute for International Affairs.  In the afternoon I have several meetings – including one about Scottish Oysters and another about Scottish music – and my brief stay in Toronto concludes with a reception for Canadian Scots and others , jointly hosted with SDI.




One response

7 04 2009

The Business News Network interview was very effective – in the face of more bad news from RBS on jobs ….. Liked the cheeky line about the Irish tiger economy being based on a Scottish educational model (!) It is going well!
And the cultural blog from inside MOMA in New York was very interesting.

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