A DEAL to create Mongolia’s first whisky distillery is expected to be worth more than £3 million to industry suppliers in Scotland.

David Valentine, the owner of Valentine International, has agreed a six figure contract to manage the design and build of the facility for the MengTai Group, to be based in Orbos, in Inner Mongolia.

Valentine, who is based in Forfar, has said at least two other Scottish whisky equipment companies are in the final stages coming on board the project. The deal came after agreement was reached at the 15th World Chinese Entrepreneurs’ Convention in London, with the Scottish Chambers of Commerce (SCC) president Tim Allan and chief executive Liz Cameron. It followed a series of SCC-led events which welcomed business groups from Inner Mongolia to Scotland, under the network’s International Trade Partnership.

This was the first time the bi-annual event was hosted in the UK. In addition to the business deal, SCC signed a business co-operation agreement with the Inner Mongolian General Chambers of Commerce supporting the transaction.

Valentine, who specialises in establishing commercial ventures in China, said: “Working in partnership with the Scottish Chambers of Commerce to forge this relationship in Inner Mongolia was instrumental in bringing this opportunity to fruition. The project will deliver a multi-million-pound export bonus for at least two other Scottish companies, still to be contracted, for the design and build of the distillery production equipment and for the supply of bulk whiskies.

“As the project progresses there will be further opportunities for skilled industry experts to oversee the operation during the initial phases of the development.”

Cameron said: “This is great news for Scotland and an early win for our new International Trade Partnership programme which our network operates in partnership with the Scottish Government.

“These opportunities were identified as a direct result of SCC hosting a business group in Scotland from the Government of Inner Mongolian Autonomous Region.

“This visit very quickly resulted in the signing of a business co-operation agreement with the General Chamber of Inner Mongolia at a major global Chinese entrepreneurs convention in London last month.

“This deal creates a significant opportunity for Scottish suppliers worth over £3m. We are confident of more investors coming to Scotland as a result.”

Ao FengTing, chairman of MengTai, added: “My ambition is not just to produce China’s best quality whisky but one that is globally recognised in terms of world rankings.

“Scotland is the home of whisky and has the greatest expertise in terms of distillery equipment manufacture and know how.

“So, we are confident that Valentine International will deliver a world beating project for us in Ordos.”