Framework for Economic Development in Scotland
Preface Deputy First Minister and Minister for Enterprise and Lifelong Learning
This Framework for Economic Development is designed to be a framework for all of Scotland. It has explicitly included the interests of all the people of Scotland, wherever they live and work, and in whatever areas of economic activity they are engaged.
The original Framework was widely regarded by business and other stakeholders as the right one, capturing the primary objectives and the Executive's approach to the fulfilment of those objectives. The process of consultation that has underpinned the revision of the Framework has played a key role in refreshing our approach and its adjustment to the ever-changing economic environment. The enthusiasm to participate in this work was remarkable and underscores the broad-based support for a coherent development strategy.
It is crucial to see beyond immediate pressures and take a longer-term view of the processes that are important: that is why the Framework is again set within a 5 to 10 year context. Robust policies need to look beyond the exigencies of the present and build the foundation for sustainable and lasting growth. The Framework also provides the fundamental basis and direction for the long-term Smart, Successful Scotland strategy for the Enterprise Networks and the revisions of FEDS will be reflected in the refreshed version of Smart, Successful Scotland later this year.
I am acutely aware that the global economy has not stood still over recent years: indeed, world economic development has been characterised by shocks and by considerable structural and cyclical change. Moreover, these forces have clearly affected Scottish economic development over the same period.
This basic observation necessarily begs the question of whether the strategic approach embodied in FEDS remains as valuable and appropriate. With this in mind, the Executive has revisited FEDS over recent months to refresh and sharpen the basic framework, albeit in the context of continuing agreement by most of our key stakeholders that the fundamental framework should be maintained.
In revisiting and refreshing FEDS we have focussed on three aspects:
- Developments in the global economy which have changed the nature of international competition in a manner that should lead us to change or refine our approach;
- Elements of economic strategy and policy that have emerged over recent years as more important - or less important - than was understood to be the case in 2000;
- What we see as the priority elements of the Framework and worthy, therefore, of greatest attention.
There are two important themes that run throughout this Framework: firstly, the primary importance of creating a productive, flexible economy that can compete with the best in the world and, secondly, the necessity to achieve this in a way that respects the environment and meets our commitment to closing the opportunity gap. We want to create wealth across society for present and future generations to enjoy. Of course, achieving this objective cannot be the sole responsibility of one area of government, just as it cannot be dependent on one sector. Economic prosperity is only secured through the collective efforts and contributions of a wide range of individuals and bodies, working in an integrated and collaborative manner. It is equally important to recognise that all Departments within the Executive must play a part in determining and contributing to Scottish economic development if we are to achieve our number one priority of growing Scotland's economy.
I would like to thank everyone who gave their time and shared their views to make this a document relevant to our future. Of course, it doesn't stop with this publication. Devising strategy and policy is a continuous process that compels us to be creative and to be aware of emerging opportunities. Equally, delivery against the priorities identified in FEDS is once again a top priority and I look forward to working in partnership with all those throughout Scotland who can contribute to delivering this strategy and these shared objectives.
Jim Wallace MSP
Deputy First Minister and Minister for Enterprise and Lifelong Learning