Scotland's Deputy First Minister John Swinney, arrives to attend an emergent Cabinet meeting at Bute House in Edinburgh, Scotland on June 25, 2016, following the result of the UK's EU referendum vote. The result of Britain's June 23 referendum vote to leave the European Union (EU) has pitted parents against children, cities against rural areas, north against south and university graduates against those with fewer qualifications. London, Scotland and Northern Ireland voted to remain in the EU but Wales and large swathes of England, particularly former industrial hubs in the north with many disaffected workers, backed a Brexit. / AFP / OLI SCARFF (Photo credit should read OLI SCARFF/AFP/Getty Images)

Scottish deputy first minister John Swinney will reach India on November 23 for a week-long visit to further strengthen ties between the two countries.

Swinney will be joined by a delegation of senior leaders from Scotland’s higher education sector.

The minister’s delegation will focus on technology, life sciences, trade, and investment to strengthen bilateral ties during its visit to India. The minister is also scheduled to discuss the measures required to strengthen education and cultural links between the two countries.

From November 23 to 29, the deputy first minister will hold a series of meetings in New Delhi and Bengaluru with business and industry leaders, as well as representatives from the Indian government.

Speaking on his tour to India the deputy first minister said, “India is an important international partner to Scotland and we have successfully collaborated on hundreds of different projects in recent years, from the Ganga River Health Project to delivering cost-effective precision medicine solutions for diabetes.”

“Scotland already has a strong history of engineering and innovation and Edinburgh has been named as the best European place to start a tech business thanks to its top facilities, strong international connections, world-class universities and fantastic quality of life”.

“There is much we can learn from India, a country highly regarded for its spirit of creativity, entrepreneurship and young ambitious workforce.”

“Equally, Scotland can offer a lot of expertise in areas that the Indian Government have identified as important, such as clean water and data-driven innovation, and I look forward to discussing these priority subjects further,” Swinney pointed out.

“Working with the delegation from our world-renowned universities we will highlight the strengths and achievements of Scotland’s higher education sector and promote the exciting opportunities for Indian students to visit, work and study here”, the minister said.

The trip will also include an official reception at the British high commission in New Delhi to celebrate St Andrew’s day and a separate St Andrew’s day celebration with alumni from Scottish universities in Bengaluru.

The programme has been organised in partnership with Scottish Development International, Universities Scotland, the British Council, and Visit Scotland.

In 2016-17 there were 1,425 higher education students from India enrolled in Scottish universities. India is Scotland’s fourth-biggest international market for further and higher education students.

Scottish direct exports to India were worth £235million in 2016.

In 2016 visitors from India spent a total of 334,000 nights in Scotland and spent £17m.

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