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Chinese delegation visit The Roslin Institute Building

The Roslin Institute's links with China continue to go from strength to strength with the visit of Shandong's Vice Governor Jia and his delegation in April.

The Chinese delegation at The Roslin Institute building

During their time in Scotland, Vice Governor Jia and his  delegation will meet with the Scottish Environment Minister Stewart Stevenson and visit The Roslin Institute and Scottish Agricultural College to learn more about their expertise in agricultural research.

The visit to Scotland follows the First Minister's successful trade and cultural mission to China last December during which he signed an innovation focused Memorandum of Understanding with the Governor of  Shandong.

China is a key emerging market for Scotland. Salmon exports to China from January to November last year were worth £21.4  million and Scotch Whisky exports - up 15 per cent on the previous year -  were worth £60.1 million in the same period.

Professor Bruce Whitelaw, Head of the Division of Developmental Biology at The Roslin Institute presented information about the Institute and took the delegation on a tour of The Roslin Institute Building prior to the visitors meeting Professor Geoff Simm, Academic Director & Vice Principal (Research) at the SAC for further discussions about the concentration of Animal Scientists in Midlthian.

It was great to be able to welcome a delegation from China's Shandong Province and to discuss the cutting-edge research carried out at The Roslin Institute. Research at The Roslin Institute covers a number of global issues, including looking at the transfer of viruses between species - such as avian flu - or how genomics can help improve livestock production and help ensure food sustainability. The Roslin Institute has a number of international research collaborations and such visits are very important for strengthening international relationships.

This was a successful visit and the delegation seemed genuinely excited about opportunity for interaction between The Roslin Institute/University of Edinburgh and Shandong. They left promising to set up dialogue between the academic/agriclutural organisations in their province with us. Their questioning although broad did tend to focus on how much governmental financial input we get and the opportunity and strategy for translating our research.

Professor Bruce WhitelawHead of the Division of Developmental Biology at The Roslin Institute


Scotland's relationship with China continues to go from strength to  strength. Vice Governor Jia's visit to Scotland, which comes just months  after the First Minister's visit to China, highlights the genuine  interest in enriching and developing our relationship.

China is  a key market for Scotland and our commitment to the relationship is  justified by results. We now have an export health certificate which  allows direct exports of Scottish salmon to China, helping Scottish  salmon producers secure major sales to the nation. And Scotch whisky  sales to China have soared following the granting of legal status for  Scottish whisky in 2010.

Shandong is the second most populated  province in China with 95 million people and its economy is growing  rapidly - that is why it is so important that we continue to build  strong links with the province.

We are committed to working  more closely with Shandong in a number of sectors, including offshore  energy, life sciences, education, agricultural research, culture, sports  and tourism.

Stewart StevensonScottish Environment Minister