Lord Dunlop to lead taskforce of business minds
ADVICE: Experts to guide government on economic and industrial policy
A former Scotland Office minister is to lead a new business taskforce to help advise the UK Government on economic and industrial policy.
Scottish Secretary David Mundell announced he had commissioned Lord Dunlop to chair a group of business and economic experts.
Glenalmond College-educated Lord Andrew Dunlop, who titled himself as the UK’S Dundee Minister, has become a familiar face in Tayside.
As the under secretary of state at the Scottish Office, Lord Dunlop was tasked with promoting the regeneration of the city of Dundee and its wider catchment area.
He visited both Perth and Dundee last year to cast his eye over the former City of Culture 2021 bid and for talks on the Tay Cities deal, which promises an economic boom for the area.
Lord Dunlop was given a peerage by David Cameron in 2015, allowing him to take on the role of Scotland Office minister, but announced he was to bow out of the government following the snap general election in June.
Mr Mundell said: “The UK Government’s new Scottish business taskforce will provide expert advice and guidance on how best to strengthen Scotland’s economy.
“We know that Scotland’s economic performance lags behind the rest of the UK and we need to close that gap.
“As we develop our ambitious industrial strategy and negotiate new trade deals with Europe and around the world, this expert panel will provide insight from a range of Scottish business sectors.”
The Scottish Secretary made the announcement in advance of a visit to Paraguay and Argentina to promote Scottish business interests and build on cultural and educational links.
He added: “As we are preparing to leave the EU, we want to build and strengthen our trade relationships with friends and partners old and new, and I am certain Scottish companies will be at the forefront of this.
“Scotland’s skills, products and services are highly regarded globally and we can build on that as we strike ambitious new trade deals around the world.
“I am travelling to South America this week to bang the drum for Scottish businesses, taking the message to these markets that Scotland’s companies have the skills, products and expertise they need.”
The taskforce, led by Lord Dunlop, will give expert advice and guidance on how best to strengthen Scotland’s economy.
Picture: Kim Cessford.