Government Economic Strategy
Actions to accelerate sustainable economic growth across Scotland were published today.
Cabinet Secretary for Finance, Employment and Sustainable Growth John Swinney today launched the Government Economic Strategy, which sets the direction for the public sector - Scottish Government, enterprise bodies, VisitScotland and other key agencies - to work collaboratively with the private, academic and third sectors to accelerate growth and create jobs.
The Strategy focuses our actions on six Strategic Priorities which will strengthen the recovery, drive sustainable growth and develop a more resilient and adaptable economy. Recognising the value of continuity, five of these Priorities are in keeping with those set out in the 2007 Strategy: Supportive Business Environment; Learning, Skills and Well-being; Infrastructure Development and Place; Effective Government; and Equity.
Reflecting on Scotland's world-leading work in areas such as renewable energy and Scotland's world leading Climate Change Act, the updated Strategy sets a new Strategic Priority - Transition to a Low Carbon Economy
The transition to a low carbon economy has already delivered significant investment to Scotland. It has the potential to attract millions of investment to the economy and support 130,000 jobs by 2020.
The strategy also includes a clear focus on the vital importance of capital investment to strengthen economic recovery and sets out the Scottish Government's demand that the UK Government introduces a further capital stimulus.
Our actions across Strategic Priorities include:
- Introducing four Enterprise Areas, including sites with a particular focus on low carbon manufacturing opportunities, to attract new investment and jobs to Scotland
- Establishing a Next Generation Digital Fund to accelerate the roll out of superfast broadband across Scotland
- Use our £9 billion public procurement spending to help promote jobs, growth and Scottish firms, compete effectively for contracts
- Our £70 million National Renewables Infrastructure Fund will help leverage private sector investment to develop the necessary infrastructure to support offshore renewables
- Where possible, prioritising spend on capital to maximise economic impact. This includes delivering projects such as the Forth Replacement Crossing and Glasgow South Hospitals Project
- The continuation of the Small Business Bonus Scheme, which has assisted tens of thousands of small businesses across Scotland
- Supporting young people through measures including a guarantee of a place in education and training for all 16-19 year-olds
To mark the launch of the Government Economic Strategy, Mr Swinney today visited Premier Hytemp, an Edinburgh-based engineered solution company that manufactures products for energy, ship building, aerospace, and waste industries. The company is a strong example of an ambitious Scottish company expanding its operations and exploring new trade markets through support from Scottish Enterprise and Scottish Development International. Premier Hytemp has established facilities in Singapore and Sheffield, and will open new premises in Houston.
The publication of the Government Economic Strategy (GES) follows the publication of the Programme for Government (PfG) last week and comes ahead of a new and detailed budgetary plans in the Spending Review (SR11) later this month.
Cabinet Secretary for Finance, Employment and Sustainable Growth John Swinney said:
"This Government remains focussed on delivering faster sustainable economic growth, with opportunities for all people across Scotland to flourish, and the refreshed Government Economic Strategy outlines practical measures to ensure we achieve this.
"The Strategy builds on the foundations for long-term economic prosperity that we set out in 2007 and focuses our actions on six Strategic Priorities which will accelerate recovery, drive sustainable growth and develop a more resilient and adaptable economy.
"We have established a new Strategic Priority - Transition to a Low Carbon Economy - building on Scotland's competitive advantage in this area and reflecting the excellent opportunity we have to secure investment and jobs in the low carbon sector.
"In light of the global downturn the Strategy also takes the opportunity to sharpen our focus on areas where there is considerable growth potential for Scotland.
"Scotland is home to a wealth of ambitious, innovative companies and it's essential that we do all we can to help these businesses capitalise on opportunities in new international growth markets. This strategy outlines actions to deliver our ambitious target to deliver a 50 per cent increase in exports by 2017 and to continue to make Scotland an attractive destination for inward investment.
"In Scotland, the recession was both shorter and shallower compared to the UK as a whole, but events in Europe and the US have demonstrated the fragility of the global recovery. This Government recognises the importance of focusing all efforts, across the public sector, on ensuring that Scotland is best placed to capitalise on new economic opportunities and that the benefits can be shared across communities.
"This Government is maximising the full economic potential from our existing levers to accelerate recovery, create jobs, and promote growth. Scotland has lower unemployment, higher employment and lower economic inactivity rates than the UK as a whole, which indicates that our approach to strengthening recovery and boosting economic activity is working.
"As more and more successful business leaders, job and wealth creators across Scotland recognise, Scotland needs full control of these levers to meet the specific challenges facing our economy. An independent Scotland will give us control of our economic future and the means by which we can improve the lives of individuals and families, and deliver a more prosperous and fairer Scotland."