Colin Donald's perceptive article on Denis Taylor's serious question about the Scottish Government's "China Plan" is most timely (International trade expert queries value of Scotland's China plan, Business, January 6).
Taylor's actual estimated benefit of 0.05% is probably reasonable. East Asia usually refers to the two Chinas, South Korea, and Japan. Leaving South Korea to one side, is it not time to ask who Scotland's reliable friends are in that region and about the benefits thus far reaped?
Since the 1980s, about 56 Japanese companies have established themselves in Scotland, showing a commitment to Scotland in the absence of any Scottish long-term commitment to Japan. Yet the Scottish Government rushes to China.
Had Scottish businesses become more seriously committed to Japan in the past, and invested seriously in Japan, this country would have had the benefit of an ally with a massive launchpad into China. Japan is the country in Asia that knows China best. Secondment of a bureaucrat to China sounds impressive. In a global perspective, alongside other east European countries with longer links to China, it is meaningless.
Stuart DB Picken
Chairman, Japan Society of Scotland
We moderate all comments on HeraldScotland on either a pre-moderated or post-moderated basis. If you're a relatively new user then your comments will be reviewed before publication and if we know you well and trust you then your comments will be subject to moderation only if other users or the moderators believe you've broken the rules, which are available here.
Moderation is undertaken full-time 9am-6pm on weekdays, and on a part-time basis outwith those hours. Please be patient if your posts are not approved instantly.