Three parties, three parliaments to discuss Brexit
SCDI (Scottish Council for Development & Industry) and the Scotch Whisky Association (SWA) are today (Friday, 30 September) discussing internationalisation and the impact of Brexit at a roundtable discussion with figures from across Scotland’s economic landscape.
They are being joined by Ian Duncan MEP, Conservative MEP for Scotland; Stephen Gethins MP, SNP Europe Spokesman, and Lewis Macdonald MSP, deputy convenor of the Europe & External Relations Committee.
According to SCDI, while the value of Scottish exports has been increasing, we have also seen a decline over the past decade in the number of companies exporting, falling from 20% of companies exporting in 2006/07 to just 12% in 2014, and with 60% of our exports coming from just 100 companies.
It says that concentration and export trend must be tackled if we are to access the customers we need to grow our Scottish businesses and strengthen our economy.
The event has been designed to give delegates the chance to engage in a discussion on what challenges Brexit presents to Scottish exports, as well as the opportunities it might open up.
It will also consider what role the Scottish Government’s Trade & Investment Strategy can play in the internationalisation of Scottish business.
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 push for more companies to raise their ambitions across all sectors and geographies. By doing that we will not only improve our competitiveness but increase the attractiveness of trade deals with us.
“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 first one should focus on Internationalisation and the impact of Brexit given the importance of our trade links for the ongoing success and future growth of our main industries.
“We are grateful that this discussion has been welcomed by politicians from across the political spectrum and look forward to ongoing engagement on areas of importance to the Scottish economy.”