Since the first publication of the International Framework in 2008 this Government has demonstrated a strong and enduring commitment to international engagement.
In a globalised society, world events affect our ability to operate successfully at home and overseas, and since the Framework was first published Scotland has experienced significant economic and social change. 2014, in particular, was a historic year for Scotland, a year which captured imaginations and shone an international spotlight on our nation as we held our referendum and hosted major international events, including the Commonwealth Games, Ryder Cup and the International Culture Summit, in addition to our annual International Festivals.
These activities raised our international profile and showcased the best of Scotland to a global audience, embodying the commitment this Government has made, and will continue to make, to our international engagement; that we lead and participate in external activity that helps Scotland and our international partners to flourish.
Following the appointment of a new First Minister, we published One Scotland - Programme for Government 2014-15. This set out our key priorities of:
- Creating more, better-paid jobs in a strong, sustainable economy
- Building a fairer Scotland and tackling inequality
- Passing power to people and communities.
Scotland's Economic Strategy ( SES) was updated in 2015, with 'internationalisation' identified as an integral strand in helping Scotland build a fairer and more equal society, at home and abroad. To support the delivery of the aims within the Programme for Government and the SES, the time is right to revisit our International Framework to consider how Scotland best capitalises on the positive international attention it has received and sets the direction going forward.
We believe that for Scotland to flourish and engage effectively with the world our internationalisation agenda must address two interlinked challenges:
- It must address capability at home, through helping our people, institutions and businesses better understand the international environment. Supporting them in developing the skills they need to engage, create and benefit from opportunities available overseas; and
- It must support the development of relationships and partnerships outside of Scotland to ensure that Scotland and our international partners flourish and that opportunities to influence global systems are maximised.
This agenda provides the framework for Scotland to achieve four strategic international objectives that seek to:
- enhance our global outlook to set the domestic conditions for success;
- strengthen our external relationships, roles and networks;
- build our reputation and international attractiveness, boosting our trade and investment; and
- encourage engagement with the European Union.
These objectives have been developed between the Government and its partners in recognition that specific, focused and collaborative activity across a range of policy and delivery areas is required to realise Scotland's economic and wider international ambitions. The revised Framework therefore sets out a common vision and provides a clear direction for all parts of government and its partners to work together to share resources and expertise in the best interests of Scotland. This vision will be used in the design of operational plans by the Government, Scottish Agencies and Public Bodies. These plans will guide our priorities for specific countries, regions and sectors and seek to embed internationalisation and a partnership approach to delivery in all that we do.