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Strategy to improve performance

SCDI and FAI launch joint plan for Scots economy

Mark Bevan
Mark Bevan: challenging

An economy think tank is joining forces with the Fraser of Allander Institute to develop a plan aimed at tackling Scotland’s weak performance.

The Scottish Council for Development and Industry is working with the Institute to bring forward a strategic response to the challenges faced by the country.

 SCDI will consult its membership which includes businesses, trade unionists, public sector officials and third sector agencies.

In a statement it said the data presented by Fraser of Allander confirmed that whilst many changes in the country’s fortunes have been positive, many significant high level challenges remain.

These include:

  • Scottish economic growth has stagnated in 2016
  • the number of Scots who are economically inactive has risen by 60,000
  • the rise in GDP/head over the decade to 2016 has been 1.2%, whilst the equivalent rise between 1999 and 2006 was 17%.

SCDI says a “cross-sectoral and strategic approach” is required to address these weaknesses in the Scottish economy, and it will be formulating a strategic response through its membership and more widely – including at its autumn policy conference in October.

An event held today was attended by a cross-section of SCDI’s senior membership, from sectors including banking, legal, further and higher education, construction and food and drink.

Mark Bevan, SCDI chief executive, said: “However you cut the data, the Scottish economy is not growing at a strong rate. The global picture has been challenging and Scotland has grappled for years with long-term issues around deindustrialisation and productivity levels that lag behind our developed counterparts.

“We have significant strengths but the challenges faced by our economy have been numerous and unprecedented. This has created one of the most difficult environments for growth to occur.

“We must however face the reality that this is ‘the new normal’ and work together to identify what we can, and should, do to put the economy to work for everyone in Scotland.

“SCDI will use our convening power to draw together the thinking and experience of our membership as well as wider Scotland.

“We are determined to lead the way in formulating a strategic response to these challenges. Our national priority must be to deliver an economy that delivers inclusive growth for every part of Scotland, working for business and working for society.”

Professor Graeme Roy, director of the Fraser of Allander Institute, added: “The last two years have been a challenging period for the Scottish economy with growth lagging behind the UK.

“But whilst the economic news has been disappointing, it is important that we do not lose sight of the significant opportunities for development and growth that are out there. 

“The business and wider economic community have a crucial role to play in informing the debate on the future of Scotland’s economy.

“Not only are they the ones that will get our economy moving again, but they are also uniquely placed to offer practical ideas about how to tackle the structural challenges that have held Scotland back. We must take full advantage of the undoubted opportunities that will continue to emerge in the months and years ahead.”

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