FM: Industrial sector key to a more successful, sustainable and fairer economy in an independent Scotland.
A plan to grow an independent Scotland’s manufacturing industries by 30 per cent by 2030 has been announced by the First Minister Alex Salmond.
The strategy is part of the Scottish Government’s blueprint for the reindustrialisation of an independent Scotland which was launched by the FM during a visit to Greenfold Systems Ltd in Dunfermline.
The First Minister said:
“Scotland’s wealth, talent and resources mean we have the potential to become a global hub for the industries of the future.
“We are renowned across the world for our engineering brilliance, our rich industrial heritage and our spirit of innovation. We have substantial natural resources, a highly skilled workforce, a long-standing reputation for innovation, and an internationally-recognised brand, with products and companies competing at the highest level in international markets.
“To achieve this requires a national mission where we come together as a country to reindustrialise Scotland for the 21st Century.
“We already have world-class manufacturing companies and Scottish economic performance has improved with the limited decision-making powers of devolution.”
The First Minister outlined a plan to build on that success involving:
- A Scottish Innovation Agency
- A Scottish Business Development Bank
- A modern and efficient tax system and carefully targeting tax measures to support industry
- Skills investment targeted to our priorities for reindustrialisation
- Supporting investment through a rule, consistent with fiscal rules for managing the public finances, which established a minimum level for public sector capital spending as a percentage of GDP
- Strengthening collaborative approaches in the manufacturing sector, in order to drive an economy-wide partnership approach and to raise productivity
- Creating a network of 70-90 overseas offices to boost exports and Scotland’s international profile. In the long-run, a 50% rise in exports could increase employment by over 100,000
The First Minister said that the plan would take time to implement but was achievable with the additional economic powers of independence. He pointed out that international comparisons showed that countries of Scotland’s size could outgrow the UK in terms of manufacturing output.
“We recently set out how we could grow our economy to generate additional tax revenues of £5 billion a year by 2029-30 by using the powers of independence to increase productivity by 0.3 percentage points per annum, boosting the working age population, and increasing the employment rate by just over 3 percentage points. This strategy is one of the ways we can ensure this works for Scotland.
“With Westminster in control, we are currently part of an unbalanced system in which investment levels are below many key competitors and where trade deficits have been persistently run.
“In an independent Scotland, we will be able to design an economic policy framework to take advantage of our great wealth and resources to create more opportunities and build a more secure economic future for the people who live here.”
Notes To Editors
A Sustainable Industrial Strategy for a Modern, Independent Nation:http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Publications/2014/06/5184
£5 billion increase in revenues by 2029: http://news.scotland.gov.uk/News/-5-billion-increase-in-revenues-by-2029- ce5.aspx
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