Lord Provost of the City of Edinburgh, Frank Ross, is set to showcase the Capital as a major international player during a series of high profile visits.
In a report published by the City of Edinburgh Council last week (Friday 1 September), he will promote Edinburgh as a key business, investment and tourist destination across Europe and Asia.
His civic visits will include time in Slovenia, where the Capital City Ljubljana will formally handover one of the most prestigious conferences in Europe to Scotland’s Capital. As the next host city of EUROCITIES in November 2018, Edinburgh will welcome up to 500 delegates including Europe’s Mayors and Political Leaders at the EICC.
Other proposed visits include presenting the city of Krakow, Poland with an official City Tartan, designed by Edinburgh citizens and selected by the citizens of Krakow. The project has been supported by the Polish Consulate in Edinburgh and the Mayor of Krakow has invited the Lord Provost to present the city with its new tartan during a weekend of community events this November.
As Edinburgh has been twinned with Munich in Germany for 63 years it is proposed that Munich and Edinburgh present jointly on how both cities intend to continue bilateral relations to harness mutual benefits post BREXIT at a conference in Cologne in October.
This will provide an ideal opportunity for the Mayor of Munich and the Lord Provost to demonstrate the benefits of the relationship and confirm a future programme of activities. This visit is set in the context of the new Scottish Bavarian Partnership, signed in Edinburgh in March this year in recognition of strengthening relations between Germany and the UK at national and regional level.
In 2013, the previous Lord Provost Donald Wilson signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the city of Shenzhen in China for the establishment of joint ‘International Creative Industry Incubation Centres’. Incubators are now embedded in both cities with a wide range of companies gaining international experience and opportunities from the project.
In order to harness inward investment interest from Shenzhen it is proposed that the Lord Provost attends the annual China Britain Business Council (CBBC) ‘China Outbound Investment’ Conference in November alongside the University of Edinburgh and the Shenzhen government to profile achievements to date and undertake a programme of engagements with potential investors.
Edinburgh and the Kyoto Region have been officially linked since the early 1990s and to strengthen this relationship, it is also proposed that a representative for the Lord Provost helps to promote Edinburgh’s tea companies at Kyoto Tea Festival in Japan in November.
Lord Provost, Frank Ross, said: “Edinburgh may be small in stature but we have always been big in ambition. With longstanding bilateral links across the world, Edinburgh continues to build and benefit from its international standing.
“This summer, we welcomed the world to Edinburgh to experience our most successful Festivals on record, which will result in an economic boost in excess of £280m. I am determined we use the exposure and acclaim afforded by this 70th Festival season to the city’s greater advantage. This is our opportunity to sell Edinburgh to the world as the key tourist, business and investment destination it is and to ensure Edinburgh remains front and centre on the world stage.”
Councillor Gavin Barrie, Convener of the Housing and Economy Committee, added: “Edinburgh is a dynamic capital city with a strong diplomatic base and this programme of international visits will be extremely beneficial as they will underpin existing partnerships and reflect mutual international interests and civic relationships. Strengthening these global relationships will help to drive investment to Edinburgh and bolster local businesses giving some of them the opportunity to showcase their work overseas.
“It is also a great honour for Edinburgh to have been chosen to host EUROCITIES, a prestigious event in 2018. It will provide a tremendous boost to the city’s economy, particularly for the EICC. It will also provide a valuable opportunity to welcome cities from across Europe to Edinburgh to highlight and share know-how, expertise and ideas with our EUROCITIES colleagues.”
John Donnelly, Chief Executive of Marketing Edinburgh said: “As the leader of Edinburgh, the Lord Provost plays a vital role in promoting the city across the globe as centres of excellence in business, innovation, culture and heritage. Along with working closely with international destinations, including our partners in the BestCities Global Alliance and European Cities Marketing, the Lord Provost’s presence at key events is essential in strengthening of existing relationships and establishing new connections that bring far-ranging benefits for the city.
“That Frank Ross is a member of Marketing Edinburgh’s Board, proactively involved in the strategic promotion of Edinburgh as one of the best places in the world to live, work, invest, study and visit, also ensures he brings with him a bigger picture approach, maximising all opportunities for the city.”
Gordon Dewar, Chief Executive, Edinburgh Airport, added: “My team and I travel the globe to promote Edinburgh and attract airlines and visitors to our wonderful city. We share the Council’s vision and work closely with them in ensuring that Edinburgh’s future growth is sustainable and assured.
“The Lord Provost understands that we must build relationships and has been instrumental, for example, in assisting the airport with its links to Beijing Airport earlier this year. We look forward to supporting him as he spreads the Edinburgh message, encouraging investment and tourism.”