The health of Scotland’s manufacturing and renewables research sectors are essential for economic recovery and the UK Government will work with industry to create the conditions for further growth and jobs, the Secretary of State for Scotland said today (28 Sept).
Speaking on a series of visits including the Centre of Engineering Excellence for Renewable Energy and Clyde Union Pumps in Glasgow and Ampcontrol Allenwest in Irvine, Michael Moore said he had recently formed a Trade and Economic Growth Board which will look at ways of removing barriers for businesses and inform the government’s Growth Strategy from a Scottish perspective.
The Minister also met a group of Ayrshire employers at a meeting hosted by Glaxo SmithKline, a follow up to the first youth unemployment seminar organised by the Scotland Office in May.
He said the manufacturing sector had grown in the last quarter against the backdrop of a difficult economic outlook, showing its resilience and flexibility. In addition, export orders were growing and the network of UK Government organisations and networks across the world were well placed to help Scotland’s companies find new markets.
The Minister said the government was already taking steps such as creating the most competitive business tax system in the developed world and cutting corporation tax to the lowest point in the G7, as well as working to increase lending to business and cutting red tape.
He said the UK Government would use the Trade and Economic Growth Board to listen further to the concerns of business and act on the issues which were raised.
Michael Moore said: “The private sector has an important part to play in helping the UK’s economic recovery.
“The relationship between technology and industry is more important than ever, particularly in creating and retaining a highly skilled workforce and developing solutions for the industries of the future, such as renewables. The Centre’s work is pivotal to that process.
“At the same time, a company like ClydeUnion Pumps faces a different set of challenges in terms of working in markets around the world but also growing its Glasgow base and supporting 900 jobs. Rebalancing the economy is one of our priorities and the engineering sector has a key role to play.
“The UK Government is playing its part. We are continuing our rescue mission on our economy and dealing with the huge deficit we inherited and we are also taking practical steps to help companies, through initiatives such as UKTI’s Britain Open for Business which promotes trade and investment.
“That can only help the types of company I have visited this week, such as Ampcontrol Allenwest which is exporting its designs and products to mining and energy markets across the world.
“I will work closely with businesses across Scotland in the coming weeks and months to make sure their voice is heard within government.
“Our aim is to improve trade and investment so more jobs are created at home. Our message to the world is a clear one - Scotland is open for business.”