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by Kirsteen Paterson
13 June 2022
Nicola Sturgeon: Economic recovery must be 'national endeavour'

Nicola Sturgeon pictured at the Hay-on-Wye festival. Credit: Sam Hardwick/Alamy

Nicola Sturgeon: Economic recovery must be 'national endeavour'

Economic recovery from the pandemic must be a "national endeavour", Nicola Sturgeon will tell an economic think-tank today.

Addressing the annual forum of the Scottish Council for Development and Industry (SCDI), the First Minister will pledge the Scottish Government's support to work in partnership with industry amidst challenges brought by rising inflation and Brexit.

Speaking in Edinburgh, she is also expected to call on businesses to adapt to new ways of working that will help achieve net zero and improve wellbeing.

Sturgeon will also confirm the expansion of Scotland's network of Productivity Clubs, which offer peer support to small businesses to encourage growth.

There are around 1,800 members and grant funding of £200,000 is on offer for a new Tayside hub, under the National Strategy for Economic Transformation.

The First Minister is expected to tell the SCDI: "We are recovering from the worst pandemic in more than a century, and the huge economic and social challenges it has brought.

"We face the highest inflation in more than a generation and a growing cost of doing business is being made far worse by Brexit, which has removed us from a single market seven times the size of the UK."

She will go on: "Business, like all governments, need to adapt their working methods as we seek to reduce our climate change emissions and become a net zero economy that truly serves our collective wellbeing for current and future generations.

"Those challenges can sound daunting. But we also need to keep in mind that Scotland has huge opportunities and assets to help transform our economy. Inward investment in Scotland increased by 14 per cent in 2021 – far above the UK's increase of two per cent. There was a rise of more than 70 per cent in the number of inward investments in the digital sector."

Led by Shonaig Macpherson of the Robertson Trust, the SCDI includes members from across the economy, including universities, charities and trade unions. Up to 300 delegates will attend the annual forum, including senior business figures.

Sturgeon will say: "The National Strategy for Economic Transformation, which we published in March, aims to capitalise on these strengths. And it makes clear that recovery has to be a truly national endeavour. That won't be achieved by business alone, by government alone or by the third sector alone. We will all need to work together to create a wealthier, fairer and more sustainable nation."

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