New Economy Secretary's pledge

Brown to deliver plan for innovation

Keith Brown 2New Economy Secretary Keith Brown will today deliver an upbeat assessment of the Scottish economy in spite of continued headwinds from the oil price and global uncertainty.

He will lay down plans to grow through innovation, investment and encouraging a global approach to trade.

Ahead of opening the first economy debate of the new Parliament, Mr Brown said Scotland’s economy had proven resilient in face of considerable challenges and is well placed to exploit opportunities to strengthen competitiveness.

“Today’s debate provides an opportunity to reflect on the resilience of the Scottish economy. Despite uncertain global conditions, and falling oil prices, our economy has continued to grow over the last year.

“This demonstrates that the fundamentals of our economy remain strong, but I am clear that we must substantially build on this position to help our firms and our people reach their full potential.

“Today I will set out our plan to make Scotland a more productive country through innovation, investment, internationalisation and inclusive growth.

“At the heart of our actions will be a clear and unrelenting focus on creating a competitive and supportive business environment. I will listen carefully to constructive ideas about how we can support our economic growth put forward by MSPs from across the Chamber during the debate.

“We can see the benefits of this already, as Scotland continues to be a very attractive location for business growth and inward investment. Just last week the Ernst and Young Attractiveness Survey ranked Scotland second to London for FDI across the UK, creating over 5,300 jobs in 2015.

“That is why we’ll aim to raise productivity and prosperity through the traditional drivers of investment in infrastructure, skills and innovation.

“My appointment as a dedicated Cabinet Secretary for the economy should send a clear signal of this Government’s focus on stimulating growth, protecting and creating jobs and promoting Scotland as a great place to do business.”

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