A group of 27 prominent Scottish business leaders, investors and heads of industry bodies have backed the statements made in a Hunter Foundation report published earlier this week.
The Oxford Economics document, Raising Scotland’s Economic Growth Rate, called for inclusive debate across political parties, trade unions, businesses, the third sector and the media, to determine a new economic strategy for Scotland.
It stated that radical and ambitious policy changes are required if Scotland’s economic performance is to be transformed within the next 15 years.
The report, commissioned by Sir Tom Hunter’s foundation, noted that “it is not realistic to think that the current economic policies of either the UK or Scottish governments will produce a transformation of Scotland’s economic performance”.
It highlighted the nation’s low productivity, poor business creation rate and lack of success with scale-ups, which has meant GDP per head is a 44% of Singapore’s level, 48% of Ireland’s, 68% of Norway’s and 75% of Denmark’s.
Therefore, the open letter demanded action to support and deliver a strategy that takes Scotland up the ladder of GDP, driving innovation and scaling, not just within business, but across the whole of the public sector.
“Achieving significant growth in our GDP is not just in every single persons’ interest, it’s an imperative if we are to maintain and indeed enhance our public services and drive the jobs that are so desperately needed post-pandemic,” the letter read.
“We owe it to our young people that we create a vibrant economy for them to inherit and we need to be exceptional custodians of Scotland’s future for their sakes – to do so we cannot simply do what we have always done, tinkering on the edges, Scotland needs to think big and it needs to think fast.
“Our opportunity is our size, we are a speed boat compared to the super tanker economies and we are a nation that has historically invented the modern world, its not beyond our ken to do that again,” the statement read.
“We implore a rational, national debate on our economic future to then deliver a strategy and an operational implementation plan for Scotland’s growth.”
The statement was signed by:
- Andrew Parfery, director, Caresourcer
- Andrew Wilson, founding partner, Charlotte Street Partners
- Carolyn Currie, chief executive, Women’s Enterprise Scotland
- Chris Van Der Kuyl, chairman, 4J Studios
- Claus Marquordt, co-founder and chief executive, Integrated Graphene
- Colin Blair, chairman, Buzzworks Holdings
- Craig Letton, chief executive, MRM Global
- Duncan Maclean, chief executive, Candle Shack
- Ellis Watson, company director
- Fraser Edmond, chief executive, Broker Insights
- Kieran Coyle, director, Premiership Experience
- Liz Cameron, chief executive, Scottish Chambers of Commerce
- Mairi Mickel, director and family business adviser
- Marie Clare Tully, chief executive, Columba 1400
- Marie Owen, chief executive, LS Productions
- Mark Beaumont, broadcaster, investor and author
- Mark Scott, director, Bella & Duke
- Paddy Burns, chief executive, 4J Studios
- Philip Ross, director, Safehinge Primera
- Poonam Gupta, chief executive, PG Paper
- Ramin Golzari, director, Highlander Outdoor
- Ray Perman, chairman, Inner Ear
- Robin Marshall, chief executive, Bain Capital
- Ross Tuffee, chief executive, Iceberg.tech
- Sandy Kennedy, chief executive, Entrepreneurial Scotland Foundation
- Sara Thiam, chief executive, Scottish Council for Development and Industry
- Steven Easton, managing director, Green Home Systems
Don’t miss the latest headlines with our twice-daily newsletter – sign up here for free.