Joni Smith has been appointed to the position of Scottish Affairs Counsellor to North America and will be based in the Scottish Affairs Office within the British Embassy in Washington DC where she will lead on promoting Scotland's interests in the United States and Canada.
Martin McDermott has been appointed First Secretary of Scottish Affairs based in the British Embassy in Beijing where he will promote and represent Scotland’s cultural, educational and economic interests in China.
Commenting, Kenneth Gibson MSP said:
“The USA is Scotland's biggest overseas trading partner, our largest inward investor and a hugely valuable tourism market, with US students accounting for the second largest overseas group in Scotland. Links between Scottish schools, colleges and universities and their counterparts in the USA are constantly developing. Work on our relationship with Canada is also essential, with Canada holding a special significance for Scotland, both as a major export and tourism market but also due to the strong and enduring historical links between our two countries and the prevalence of a well-defined Scottish Diaspora. Ms Smith’s work will be supported by SNP Government colleagues in Toronto.
“Mr McDermott’s work in China, where there is huge demand for high-end Scottish products, particularly quality food and drink, will be guided by the SNP Government’s China Engagement Strategy, due for renewal in 2018, which will outline our priorities in China and ensure that respect for human rights and the rule of law remains one of our guiding principles.”