• Scottish Chambers of Commerce leads business delegation to COP28 UAE with Scottish Government
  • The official business programme kicked off with a VIP St Andrew’s Day business reception with the First Minister in Dubai, where a number of businesses in the food and drink industry were showcased
  • For the first time ever, halal Scotch lamb was introduced to the UAE market and showcased at the reception

Scotland kicked off its COP 28 activity with a St Andrew’s Day Reception following the first day of the conference. The First Minister, Humza Yousaf, joined 19 Scottish businesses and organisations, including Scottish Chambers of Commerce and companies from the food and drink sector at the VIP business event, who showcased their products, with support from Scottish Development International (SDI), and set the stage for the country’s participation at COP 28.

The St Andrew’s Day Reception kickstarts the activities for Scotland at the conference of parties, serving as a catalyst for strengthening collaborations and knowledge sharing. The event provided the 19 Scottish businesses, who are either already operating in the UAE or looking to break into the market, a platform to engage with senior decision makers, establish connections, and explore partnerships.

The event served as a microcosm of the country’s broader objectives for COP 28 – to showcase its existing business activity in the UAE; increase business-to-business engagement that supports trade and investment opportunities; and demonstrate its innovation strengths in key net zero sectors.

First Minister Humza Yousaf said: “The gathering of the global community at COP28 is crucially important in the fight against climate change. Only by working together can we meet the need and urgency of the task that lies ahead.

“Scotland has demonstrated that we can lead the way on taking tangible steps, but collective action is needed to tackle the climate emergency and address the devastating effects of climate change. We simply do not have time to work alone when it comes to our just transition to net zero.

“During the next two weeks, we look forward to sharing and learning about others’ progress towards net zero, showcasing our strides in sustainability and engaging in meaningful dialogue on climate action, in particular on ensuring funding for loss and damage.

“COP28 also allows the Scottish Government to advance international relations and build partnerships. Our existing business and alumni relationships in the UAE are an important part of the Scottish Connections diaspora community, and Scottish companies that are at the leading edge of net zero technologies will be attending to enhance Scotland’s global reputation. It is also an opportunity to attract investment in strategic net zero sectors in Scotland, including renewable energy.”

A notable highlight of the St Andrew’s Day Reception was the introduction of halal Scotch lamb to the market for the first time. Chef Adam Tracy, Culinary Director of Radisson, presented the groundbreaking initiative during the event, alongside Quality Meat Scotland and Woodhead, showcasing Scotland’s commitment to diverse and sustainable offerings in the culinary industry.

The diverse range of food and drink companies showcased at the event included a range of businesses such as: Woodhead, the British meat specialists introducing Scotch lamb to the UAE for the first time; Nairns, famous for their delicious super seeded oatcakes; Mackies, renowned for their melt on the palate ice cream; Seafood Scotland Association, the national trade and marketing body for Scottish seafood; and Quality Meat Scotland, the public body responsible for helping the Scottish red meat sector improve its efficiency and sustainability, and facilitating the introduction of Scotch lamb to the market.