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18 June 2014, 06:05
Businesses are being urged to make the most of opportunities presented by Scotland's hosting of the Commonwealth Games.
Workshops and showcase events are planned during the Games to promote collaboration between different sectors and help companies break into new markets, the Scottish Government said.
First Minister Alex Salmond will invite international buyers to Showcasing Scotland, an event described as the largest meet-the-buyer opportunity co-ordinated for the food and drink industry.
So far 75 Scottish companies have registered to meet buyers and discuss their produce at the Dunblane Hydro on July 21 and 22.
Mr Salmond said: "With the return of the Queen's Baton to Scotland last weekend, there is a tangible and mounting excitement around the Games. We want that excitement to extend beyond sporting competition and get Scotland's business community considering what opportunities the Games can offer them.
"The Showcasing Scotland event will exhibit our first class produce, underpinning Scotland's position as a land of food and drink. Scottish food exports are one of our great success stories and this is a fantastic opportunity for international buyers to see the very best of Scotland's natural larder.
"There is already plenty of evidence to show Scottish companies across a range of sectors can benefit financially from the Games - 82% of Commonwealth Games contracts already awarded have gone to Scottish companies, that amounts to #257 million.
"Our Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games legacy goes beyond sport and I want to see Scotland grasp those opportunities with both hands.''
Lena Wilson, chief executive of Scottish Enterprise, said: "We want Scottish businesses to connect with new and emerging international markets to open up new avenues of growth.
"Throughout this year we have an unparalleled opportunity to build a long-term international trade and investment legacy for our economy using a range of exciting business activity that we, and our partners, will deliver.''
Glasgow's City Halls and Old Fruitmarket will act as a culture and business hub during the Games. Scotland House, open from July 21 to August 3, is being jointly organised by Commonwealth Games Scotland, the Scottish Government, sportscotland, Glasgow City Council, VisitScotland, Scottish Enterprise and Creative Scotland.
Entrepreneur Sir Richard Branson and Bank of England governor Mark Carney will address more than 200 delegates at the Commonwealth Games Business Conference at Glasgow University on July 22 and 23.