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Scottish expertise spreads in China

FM announces further investment in textiles and software firms.

Scotland’s expertise in textiles and software is in demand in China after two Scottish firms announced plans to expand, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has announced.

J&D Wilkie is building a new £3 million factory in Jianxing near Shanghai to enable it to produce technical textiles products, and increase its competitiveness by bringing its entire yarn-spinning operations into one location.

Meanwhile, Glasgow-based Digimania announced a 3D animation software training partnership with the Shanghai Arts and Design Academy, as well as a joint venture with Chinese partner Pikatoons.

The deals will increase Digimania’s revenue from China by approximately £12 million over three years, creating 12 new jobs in Scotland and 14 news jobs in China.

The First Minister visited the site of the new J&D Wilkie factory with the Mayor and Vice Mayor of Jiaxing and presented a commemorative foundation stone to be laid at the location.

The Angus-based firm began producing jute and flax in Scotland in 1868 and has almost doubled production since it established operations in China eight years ago.

The deal will safeguard 90 jobs in Scotland and has the potential to double the J&D Wilkie positions in China.

The First Minister said:

“Scotland’s textiles industry offers a unique fusion of rich heritage, innovation and unrivalled creativity, producing internationally revered products which are desired the world over.

“Across technical textiles, interiors and fashion, Scottish textiles offer the perfect mix of quality and innovation that Chinese businesses and consumers demand.

“J&D Wilkie has established itself in China and is looking to grow its business and seize on the opportunities open to the firm. They are a good example to other son how to expand into and benefit from foreign markets.”

Bob Low, director at J&D Wilkie, said:

“At J&D Wilkie we are proud of our distinguished 150 year heritage in advanced textile technology..

“We listen to our customers’ requirements and act quickly to meet their needs and market challenges. We can help solve their problems with our expertise and deliver tangible benefits with our know-how and ingenious solutions.

“We are proud to show the First Minister of Scotland the start of our new 180,000 sq foot factory being built in Jiaxing, China that will house an integrated spinning and weaving unit on one site.

“This will further strengthen our position in Europe where we have seen our Scottish weaving unit almost double since starting the yarn production in China”.

At the Digimania event in Shanghai, the First Minister saw Chinese school children using its educational software product Muvizu, which is designed to introduce students to the art of 3D animation in an animated construction game.

She added:

“The success of both J&D Wilkie and Digimania are strong examples of how Scotland’s credentials in high quality and innovative products and technologies present opportunities for companies to grow significantly by entering overseas markets.”

Paul Collimore, Commerical Director at Digimania said:

“We are passionate about our industry and want to ensure the future quality of the industry by teaching the younger generations the skills required at an early age.

“The opening of the training centre today has been a great achievement for all involved.

“The 3D Animation industry is one of the fastest global growth industries and we look forward to further growth in China alongside our partners Pikatoon.”

Notes To Editors

The First Minister is in China and Hong Kong this week to promote Scottish innovation with one of the world’s largest economies as part of a trade visit.

During the visit, the First Minister will undertake a series of high profile business engagements to promote Scottish business in Beijing, Shanghai and Hong Kong, including hosting an ‘innovation showcase’ for Scottish companies to meet with Chinese investors, as well as undertaking a series of cultural and educational engagements.

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Follow the First Minister’s trip at and @scotgovfm


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