Scotland's Economy

Scottish Business Buzz (29.06.16)

Screen Shot 2016-06-28 at 11.18.49Business tourists boost to Glasgow of £141m last year.

Scotland’s largest city boosted the economy by £141m from business tourism over the last financial year. Conference revenue averaged at £2.7m per week between April 2015 and the end of March this year, according to a report by Glasgow City Marketing Bureau (GCMB).

Over the year the city confirmed more than 500 new international and UK meetings through to 2022. Last year conferences held in the city included the European Association of Archaeology at Glasgow University, and the Diabetes UK annual congress, which took place at the SECC.

That venue also hosted the European Association of International Education Convention, while the International Space Planes/Hypersonic Systems and Technologies Conference at the University of Strathclyde’s Technology Innovation Centre was held at Strathclyde University. More than 10,000 delegates attended these four gatherings, boosting the local economy by in excess of £15m.

Kathleen Warden, director of conference sales at the SECC, added: “Once again, Glasgow is demonstrating its position as a major UK and international conference location and we are delighted that the SECC continues to be a strong economic driver for Glasgow and Scotland.”

More on this story in The National.

Screen Shot 2016-06-28 at 11.39.27Scotland is open for business, Fergus Ewing tells ministers at Europe talks

The Rural Economy Secretary has told EU counterparts that Scotland is open for business in spite of last week’s Brexit vote. Mr Ewing met with farming ministers from Germany, France and Ireland as well as Agriculture Commissioner Phil Hogan at the EU Agriculture and Fisheries Council in Luxembourg.

He told attendees he would continue to work with colleagues across Europe as First Minister Nicola Sturgeon seeks talks with EU institutions to protect Scotland’s place in the EU.

He said: “The European Union provides significant support to Scottish rural communities and is a key market for the food and drink we produce. “At council today, I had the opportunity to stress that we are open for business and working to protect Scotland’s role in the EU.”

Full story.

Screen Shot 2016-06-29 at 09.40.11Tidal turbines assembled for UK’s first commercial marine energy parc in Pentland Firth

Work is in progress constructing the 1.5MW tidal turbines being built for the MeyGen baseload-scale electricity generating sub-marine energy parc for installation on the Pentland Firth.

The state-of-the-art AR1500 tidal turbines will become part of the Scotland’s/ UK’s first commercial tidal stream array.

The AR1500 is owned by Atlantis Resources, with design and manufacturing supported by US engineering giant Lockheed Martin. It will now undergo a rigorous six week pre-commissioning programme at the National Renewable Energy Centre to validate the performance of the turbine’s drive train before being installed in the Pentland Firth later this year.

More on Scottish Energy News.

Screen Shot 2016-06-29 at 09.50.15First Minister meeting President of the European Commission in Brussels today

Nicola Sturgeon has flown to Brussels to begin talks with the President of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker today (29 June) to maintain Scotland’s EU membership despite the UK wide Brexit result last week.

The FM has made it clear that she intends to ensure continued access for Scotland to the European single market, as Scots voted in favour of remaining within the trading bloc.

The creation of a Standing Council was announced in Holyrood yesterday of experts to advise the Scottish government on how to ensure continued EU ties, led by the University of Glasgow’s Professor Anton Muscatelli.

The FM said in the Holyrood debate held yesterday,

“We chose to be an open, inclusive and outward-looking society where other EU citizens are welcome to live, work and contribute, and we voted to protect the freedom and prosperity that comes with our rights to travel, live work and study in other European countries”.

Full story.

Screen Shot 2016-06-29 at 09.56.39‘Fair and proportionate’ regulation needed to support disruptive technology

New research is being carried out in Scotland on how businesses can be encouraged to adopt disruptive technologies and business models without impeding on fair competition.

The Scottish Government outlined the plans in a new report featuring its strategic assessment of markets in Scotland in which it said it would use its competition powers to “ensure that Scotland’s markets are competitive and fair to consumers”.

“The Scottish Government will be looking at the issues around disruptive technologies in detail in the coming months,” the report said. “Specifically on regulation, the independent Regulatory Review Group is also undertaking a review of the regulatory environment within Scotland for key sectors affected by digital disruption to ensure that it remains appropriate to encourage and support innovation while maintaining a level playing field.”

“Disruptive technologies transform current business models. In Scotland, we must ensure that Scottish businesses are able to capitalise on these disruptions and have the necessary tools and ability to enter these markets should they wish to. It is also important to ensure that market structures and features are not unnecessarily restricting the entry of new disruptive business models,”.

More on this story.

Screen Shot 2016-06-29 at 10.05.32The Scottish Dairy brand heads stateside due to increasing US demand for Scottish foods

The Scottish Dairy brand has been developed by Scottish Development International to meet the increasing US demand for products with Scottish provenance. It will include the launch of an exclusive logo that will be used on premium Scottish dairy products in America, signifying that they are made using 100% Scottish milk.

SDI has also partnered with US food important Atlanta who will import some of Scotland’s best cheese across the country.

James Withers, chief executive of Scotland Food & Drink said, “There is a growing appetite in the US and Canada for premium produce with strong Scottish provenance credentials and is great to see our dairy sector start to really capitalise on that.”

Rural Economy Secretary Fergus Ewing said, “Scottish food and drink is booming – with exports of our produce worth £4.9bn in 2015.  People recognise that a Made in Scotland brand means high quality, tasty food and now dairy products will benefit from that brand. I hope that our dairy sector will now be on the same platform as Scotch Beef, salmon and whisky.”

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About the author

Rhona Middler

Rhona was Business for Scotland's Engagement Executive and Events Manager.

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