Nicola Sturgeon in Washington, DC
First Minister of Scotland Nicola Sturgeon arrives at the World Bank in Washington, DC on 10 June, 2015. Sturgeon spoke at a conference on economy and equalityMark Wilson/Getty Images

Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has used a tour of the US to strengthen ties with Washington and to lay out her country's economic situation.

On a four-day tour of the US, she met US deputy secretary of State Antony Blinken and gave a talk at the World Bank.

Sturgeon and Blinken – the number two at the State Department - discussed the outcome of May's UK general election and the planned In/Out referendum on Britain's EU membership, due to take place by the end of 2017.

A spokesman for Sturgeon said: "This was a warm, friendly and constructive meeting between the First Minister and deputy secretary of state in which the long-standing ties between Scotland and the USA were reaffirmed.

"The First Minister and deputy secretary Blinken discussed a range of issues - including the outcome of the UK general election and the new political landscape in Scotland, the economy, the Scottish Government's support for continued membership of the EU and wider shared cultural, economic and social interests."

At the World Bank, the First Minister said: "Scotland, like many countries, faces an apparent paradox. Deep inequalities exist in our society - reflected in reduced educational outcomes, poorer health and lower life expectancy.

"But we also know that Scotland is a wealthy nation. We have vast economic potential and many economic success stories."

She added: "We want to increase our competitiveness to boost our GDP per head. And we also want to create a fairer society with a better distribution of income.

"And what we increasingly recognise is that those two challenges - of competitiveness and equality - aren't separate issues. They are connected. We would have an even more competitive economy, if we had a fairer society.

"We're investing in the innovation and infrastructure which is essential to future productivity growth. But as part of that, we're also creating an inclusive society - one which harnesses the talents of all of our people, and which shares the benefits of growth more equally.

"We're pretty confident that we're on the right path, but we also know that we have a huge amount to learn."