Media Release: SCDI business summit explores maximising Scotland’s international performance

SCDI Logo (CMKY blue text)Apr13

THE SCDI International Business Summit 2015 takes place on Friday 12 June 2015 at Fairmont, St Andrews, and brings together figures from across Scotland’s international business community to explore how Scotland can maximise its performance in international markets and set an industry-led agenda to fulfil Scotland’s capabilities, encouraging more Scottish businesses to be confident in pursuing international business opportunities.

With the theme of ‘SCOTLAND: DRIVING GLOBAL AMBITION’, this one-day summit will also explore the ingredients of international success as experienced by some of Scotland’s most successful companies, sectors and iconic brands, including Harris Tweed Hebrides, Tunnocks Ltd, Johnstons of Elgin, Edinburgh Airport and Scotland Food & Drink.

Commenting, Michael Urquhart, chair of SCDI International Business Committee, said: “As a whisky exporter in my own career, I have always been fortunate to learn from the experience of others who have gone before me, and this is one of the aims of this summit.

“We will explore how the experience and knowledge of companies already successful in international markets can be effectively deployed to inspire and give practical insights to those at an earlier stage on the learning curve.

“We also want to set an industry-led agenda which seeks more effective collaboration with government.

“In my view, the prize is too great to ignore. While Scotland’s current exporting performance includes stellar performances from our leading businesses, there is still widespread concern that our exporting economy remains too dependent on a relatively narrow range of sectors and companies.

“Indeed, the Scottish Government’s latest Global Connections Survey highlighted that 50 per cent of the value of Scottish exports comes from just 50 companies.

“Scotland’s economic growth will be significantly strengthened by a much broader internationalisation of our business base.”

Says a spokesperson: “Both the UK and Scottish Governments have set ambitious targets for an expansion of our exporting capacity. In setting the summit agenda, SCDI were mindful of The Scottish Government’s objective to increase the value of Scottish exports by 50 per cent by 2017, compared with a base of £22.81bn in 2010.”


Notes to Editors

SCDI (Scottish Council for Development & Industry) is one of Scotland’s leading independent economic development organisations, working across the public, private and social economy sectors, representing 1,200 organisations including global companies, SMEs, public sector bodies and educational institutions, professional associations and trade unions, faith groups, charitable and social economy sector organisations.

SCDI International Business Summit 2015 (12 June, St.Andrews)

The SCDI International Business Summit 2015, ‘Scotland: Driving Global Ambition’, is delivered in partnership with Bank of Scotland, Brodies LLP, Edrington and Scottish Salmon Producers Organisation.

Speakers at ‘Scotland: Driving Global Ambition’ include:                  

  • Murdo Fraser MSP – convenor, Economy, Energy & Tourism Committee, The Scottish Parliament  - ‘Internationalising Scottish Business Inquiry’ (2015)
  • Brian Wilson – chair, Harris Tweed Hebrides and author of ‘Wilson Review for Scottish Exporting’ (2014)
  • Gordon Dewar – managing director, Edinburgh Airport Ltd
  • Martin Murdoch – area director for Russia & Emerging Europe, Edrington
  • Carl Paraskevas – senior international macroeconomist, Bank of Scotland (Lloyds Banking Group)
  • Scott Landsburgh – chief executive, Scottish Salmon Producers Organisation
  • Greg May – partner, Oil & Gas, Brodies LLP
  • Simon Cotton – chief executive, Johnstons of Elgin
  • Ian Walker – corporate citizenship director, Johnson & Johnson
  • Alan Burnett – export sales manager, Thomas Tunnock Ltd
  • Emma Meredith – international director, Edinburgh College
  • James Withers – chief executive, Scotland Food & Drink
  • Neil Francis – international operations director, Scottish Development International
  • Su Cox – sales & communications director, The Scottish Salmon Company
  • Shona Young – CEO, Nutscene (1922) Ltd
  • Lloyd Anderson – director – Scotland, The British Council (Scotland)
  • Bruce Walker – CEO, WeAreTheFuture
  • Sandy Kennedy – CEO, Entrepreneurial Scotland
  • Gavin Reid – Business Management & Strategy; and head of School, Dundee Business School, University of Abertay Dundee
  • Michael Urquhart – non-executive Director, Gordon & MacPhail
  • The summit is facilitated by Graham Stewart – journalist and broadcaster

Full details at:

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