Scottish Secretary Alister Jack travelled to Paris this week on a two-day trip to promote Scottish trade with France.

Total trade in goods and services [exports plus imports] between the UK and France is worth £78.3 billion a year.

The Secretary of State met UK and French businesses, as well as France’s trade minister, diplomatic staff and parliamentarians.

Mr Jack visited French fashion house Chanel to see how they have used tweed and other Scottish materials throughout their history, including in their latest range.

This season Chanel is shining a spotlight on Scottish tweed in both designs and scenography.

“Devoting the entire collection to Scottish tweed is a tribute,” said Chanel Creative Director Virginie Viard.

“We followed the footsteps of Gabrielle Chanel along the River Tweed, to imagine tweeds in the colours of this landscape. Like that of a long pink coat mottled with blue and purple, or a burgundy suit with a delicate gold shimmer. This is what Gabrielle Chanel would do on her walks through the Scottish countryside: she would gather ferns and bouquets of flowers to inspire the local artisans for the tones she wanted.”

The Scottish Secretary also joint hosted a St Andrew’s night dinner with the British Ambassador to France, Dame Menna Rawlings.

Scottish Secretary Alister Jack said:

Scotland and France have historic and enduring links, and St Andrew’s Day is the perfect time to celebrate and strengthen those ties.
A fantastic example of that relationship is the 100-year-old creative partnership between Paris’ Chanel fashion house and Scotland’s beautiful tweed, and it was fascinating to hear more about that.
The UK and France are important trade partners, and we must build on that. The French market is worth billions to Scottish businesses, with huge potential to grow. While in Paris I was hard at work promoting Scottish businesses, as the UK Government does every day, right around the world.

Scotland’s exports to France are worth nearly £3 billion a year, ranging from whisky to renewable energy expertise. The Secretary of State hosted a lunch for French businesses representing these sectors, as well as meeting the French Government’s International Trade Minister, Olivier Becht.

The UK Government has one of the world’s largest diplomatic networks in the world. It is committed to promoting Scottish interests across foreign policy, security, defence, international trade, investment, culture, education and the arts – as well as providing vital consular assistance.

Photo courtesy of Chanel.

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