Media Release: SCDI welcomes ‘internationalising Scottish business’ report and calls for industry-led export focus

SCDI Logo (CMKY blue text)Apr13

THE (Scottish Council for Development & Industry) has welcomed today’s Scottish Parliament Economy Energy & Tourism Committee report, following its ‘Internationalising Scottish Business’ Inquiry, and endorses its key recommendations.

Says a SCDI spokesperson: “A focus on developing internationalised business opportunities, whilst driving productivity and innovation, needs to be key priority for both the Scottish and UK Governments.

“Despite the significant and sustained success of Scottish iconic brands across many sectors – including food and drink, energy, education and professional services – SCDI agrees that there is a need for much greater ambition to fulfil the exporting potential of Scotland’s economy.

“Exporting success is key to driving economic growth, and we are failing to fully capitalise on this.

“In particular, we need to build the ambition and confidence that will encourage greater numbers of SMEs to consider internationalising their business.

“With just 50 companies accounting for 50 per cent of Scotland’s exports, there is a real need to improve on our current underperformance across the economy. International trading of more of our companies, especially SMEs, is vital.”

Iain McTaggart, international director, SCDI, said: “We believe that there are many willing partners ready to support the aim to increase Scottish exports, including many larger, experienced companies with practical knowledge and insights to share, universities and colleges who are well-placed to collaborate with businesses on the skills and innovation required for global success, and business-focused organisations, including SCDI, with the expertise to play an active role in supporting Scotland’s drive to further internationalise.

“Collaboration is at the forefront of the Scottish Parliament Committee Report, as was also the case in last year’s Wilson Review of Support for Scottish Exporting.

“SCDI firmly believes that a collaborative approach is vital to delivering results, in response to the scale of the challenge Scotland faces in improving its exporting performance.

“While government needs to play a leading role, the collaboration needs to be genuine and not one-way. Industry must play a full and challenging part in this agenda if we are to succeed.”

SCDI is hosting an International Business Summit ‘Scotland: Driving Global Ambition’ on 12 June in St.Andrews, to facilitate and help shape an industry-led agenda to contribute to the challenges detailed in the recent reports.

Both Murdo Fraser MSP – convener of the Scottish Parliament’s Economy Committee; and Brian Wilson, author of the Wilson Report, will be among the speakers discussing their recommendations with an audience drawn from across Scotland’s economy.

The conference will also hear from senior representatives of organisations including Edinburgh Airport Ltd, Johnson & Johnson, Scotland Food & Drink, Scottish Salmon Company, Bank of Scotland, Scottish Salmon Producers Organisation, SDI, Edinburgh College, Johnstons of Elgin, Entrepreneurial Scotland, WeAreTheFuture and Harris Tweed Hebrides amongst others.


Notes to Editors

SCDI (Scottish Council for Development & Industry) is a leading independent economic development organisation 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.

The SCDI International Business Summit 2015 – ‘Scotland: Driving Global Ambition’ on 12 June will bring together leading figures in Scotland’s international business community.

Providing a high-level forum for senior representatives, this business summit will explore how Scotland can maximise its performance in international markets-sharing the experience and insights of successful global players, setting an industry-led agenda to fulfil Scotland’s capabilities and encouraging more Scottish businesses to be confident in pursuing international opportunities.

Delivered in partnership with Bank of Scotland, Brodies LLP, Edrington and Scottish Salmon Producers Organisation, the summit will hear from speakers including:

  • Murdo Fraser MSP – convenor of the Economy, Energy & Tourism Committee, The Scottish Parliament
  • Brian Wilson – chair, Harris Tweed Hebrides and author of ‘Wilson Review for Scottish Exporting’
  • Su Cox – sales and communications director, Scottish Salmon Company
  • Gordon Dewar – managing director, Edinburgh Airport Ltd
  • Scott Landsburgh – chief executive, Scottish Salmon Producers Organisation
  • Carl Paraskevas – senior international macroeconomist, Bank of Scotland (Lloyds Banking Group)
  • Neil Francis – international operations director, Scottish Development International
  • Michael Urquhart – non-executive director, Gordon & MacPhail
  • Ian Walker – corporate citizenship director, Johnson & Johnson
  • James Withers – chief executive, Scotland Food & Drink
  • Emma Meredith – head of International Development, Edinburgh College
  • Bruce Walker – CEO, WeAreTheFuture
  • Simon Cotton – chief executive, Johnstons of Elgin
  • Sandy Kennedy – CEO, Entrepreneurial Scotland

Full details at:

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