Being an independent member state in the European Union (EU) is "overwhelmingly" in Scotland's economic interests, according to the Deputy First Minister.
Nicola Sturgeon made the case for the country's continued place in the EU in a speech in Dublin.
Ms Sturgeon outlined the "benefits" of the EU just days after Prime Minister David Cameron announced plans for a referendum on the UK's relationship with Brussels.
She told the audience of business people at the British Irish Chamber of Commerce annual conference that being in the EU made Scotland attractive for inward investment while a referendum on the UK's membership would threaten Scottish jobs and lead to "damaging uncertainty".
"The Scottish Government wants an independent Scotland to be a constructive member of the EU," she said.
"We want to be in Europe because it is overwhelmingly in our economic interests. And we want to be independent in Europe, because that is the status that best allows us to protect, assert and advance our national interests."
She added: "It is true that the EU needs reform. There are issues - for example, fishing - where we believe that a different balance of competences to that which currently exists would be in Scotland's best interests.
"So, as an independent member state of a European Union that is changing, we will have the opportunity to build alliances and forge relationships with like-minded countries.
"We will do so, not just through the assertion of our own interests, but also by virtue of the significant contribution we can make to the furtherance of the collective European interest. Let there be no doubt that Scotland, like Ireland, wants to be a good European citizen."
Commenting on Mr Cameron's recent announcement about a referendum, she said: "Let me state emphatically that this is not a journey that the Scottish Government wishes Scotland to be a part of, nor one that I believe would be supported across the Scottish business community or wider civic society."