Key issues to be tackled

Blueprint pinpoints weaknesses in Scottish growth

Graeme RoyScotland must tackle a range of issues from low productivity to political short-termism if it is to keep pace with competitor nations, according to a new report.

A nationwide consultation has resulted in eight key recommendations for policy makers to put at the top of their agenda for growing the economy.

Scotland in 2050: Realising Our Global Potential seeks to address low productivity, the skills gap, lack of strategic export focus, outdated infrastructure, political short-termism and the potential for growing pressure on public services as a result of the revised budget arrangement agreed by the Scottish and UK governments.

Professor Graeme Roy, pictured, director of the Fraser of Allander Institute, which worked on the research with law firm Shepherd and Wedderburn, said: “Our economic analysis and engagement with business has shown Scotland has key strengths that should give the country optimism for the future.

“But in many areas there is scope for improvement: our export base is too narrow and we lag behind many of our competitors. If Scotland is to take advantage of the changing nature of the global economy in the coming decades, it will need to boost its level of internationalisation.”

Shepherd and Wedderburn will be hosting a series of political engagement events in Edinburgh, Glasgow and Aberdeen in May to discuss the findings in the report, based n the views of more than 100 business leaders, industry bodies and representatives of public and third sector organisations.

The report concludes that Scotland needs:

infrastructure, both physical and digital, that is fit for the future

an economy that harnesses and trades on knowledge

an ecosystem that nurtures and retains businesses of scale

an appropriately skilled workforce led by effective management/leadership teams

greater collaboration between academia and industry to commercialise innovation

a national strategy focusing resource and investment on activities with growth potential

a more joined-up, collaborative approach to entering new markets

policy (at local, national and UK level) that is longer term in its objectives

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