First Minister Nicola Sturgeon is leading a business delegation to Germany in a drive to boost trade with Scotland’s fourth largest export market.

Ms Sturgeon is being accompanied to Berlin by leaders from 12 Scottish companies.

They are looking to increase business in Germany or break into the country for the first time.

Scotland currently exports about £2bn of goods to Germany annually.

The Scottish Development International (SDI) delegation is being supported by the Glasgow and Edinburgh Chambers of Commerce.

Participating companies include Thistly Cross Cider of East Lothian, Edinburgh-based compostable packaging manufacturer Vegware and Port Glasgow company Kare Orthopaedics.

During the trip, Ms Sturgeon will have talks with Niels Annen, a German foreign office minister.

It will be the first ministerial meeting between the Scottish government and the new German administration.

She will also will meet the mayor of Berlin to discuss future cooperation around the European Championships, being held in Glasgow and Berlin in August.

Ms Sturgeon said: “The ongoing risks posed by Brexit only reinforces our determination to promote Scotland in Europe and around the world.

“That is why trade delegations such as this are so important.

“The Scottish government has taken steps enhance our presence in the EU.

“SDI is doubling its representatives in Europe, while our newly opened hub in Berlin will soon be followed by Paris, adding to our EU offices in Brussels, London and Dublin.”

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