Taskforce to close UK economic results gap
Launch: Support for Scottish business
Scottish Secretary David Mundell has launched a “business taskforce” to advise the UK Government on economic and industrial policy north of the border.
Former Scotland Office minister Lord Dunlop will chair a group of leading figures with expert knowledge of Scotland’s business and economy, Mr Mundell said yesterday, adding the membership would be announced “shortly”.
He added: “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 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.”
He made the announcement ahead of a trip to Paraguay and Argentina to promote Scottish business interests, and build cultural and educational links.
Scottish firms already do substantial business in South America – Scotch whisky, for example, exports more than £14million and £12million a year to Paraguay and Argentina respectively.
There are also Scottish companies keen to take advantage of opportunities in Paraguay’s dynamic agricultural sector.
Mr Mundell said: “As we prepare 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 ... 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.”
BACKING: David Mundell wants to ‘bang the drum’ for Scottish businesses