Lord Dun­lop to lead task­force of busi­ness minds

AD­VICE: Ex­perts to guide gov­ern­ment on eco­nomic and in­dus­trial pol­icy

The Courier & Advertiser (Angus and The Mearns Edition) - - NEWS - CA­TRI­ONA WEB­STER

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.

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