Discussions today to improve the competitiveness of Scottish Businesses

SCDI (Scottish Council for Development & Industry) and the Scotch Whisky Association (SWA) welcome the opportunity to discuss solutions to the ‘productivity puzzle’ at a roundtable discussion today attended by figures from across Scotland’s economic landscape, along with Patrick Harvie MSP, co-convenor of the Scottish Greens; and Ivan McKee MSP, member of the Finance and Constitution Committee.

Scotland’s productivity levels fall below most of Western Europe in terms of GDP per hour worked and more needs to be done to improve the competitiveness of Scottish business.

Driving innovation, upskilling our workforce, and embracing new technologies will all be key to improve our economic growth and improve living standards for people across the country.

This event will give all attendees the chance to engage positively in a discussion on this key area of weakness to the Scottish economy.

Ahead of the event, SCDI’s head of Policy, Gareth Williams, said: “In our policy blueprint, ‘From Fragile to Agile’, SCDI identified the key challenges for the Scottish economy as increasing productivity, innovation and internationalisation, all of which are underpinned by improving Infrastructure to improve our competitiveness.

“We are already home to some leading world-class businesses but for Scotland’s economy to succeed and grow we need to do much more to address our productivity rate through improved infrastructure, enhanced utilisation of technology, and an increasingly skilled workforce.

“Ensuring our work places are more family friendly and agile through a transformation of childcare provision, to meet both employer and employee needs, could be one step in helping improve our productivity.

“This is part of a series of discussions being organised between SCDI and the SWA looking at these key priorities and it is right that this second one should focus on this vital area in order to ensure we enhance our global competitiveness.”

Acting chief executive of the Scotch Whisky Association, Julie Hesketh-Laird, added: “The success of Scotch is underpinned by continual improvement, production efficiencies and secure routes to market. In our modern and dynamic industry, productivity remains central.

“In a complex business environment, Scotland must aim to be ahead of the curve as the most competitive place to do business in the UK.

“For continued growth, distillers need enhanced and resilient infrastructure from roads to energy networks, better connectivity and access to a flexible and skilled workforce to fill the high-value roles the industry creates.”

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