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Responding to Scotland’s Global Economic Challenge

Responding to Scotland’s Global Economic Challenge

Following a high-level briefing exclusively received today (Friday, 30th June) from the Fraser of Allander Institute (FAI), the inclusive economic development network SCDI has jointly launched a plan with FAI to bring forward a strategic response to the challenges outlined. SCDI will convene an informed and focussed response from its membership and wider civic Scotland, drawn from across the public, private and social economy sectors.

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, including:

  • 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 believes that 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.

The event 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, commented:

“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 t 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.”