The Elite Ayrshire Business Circle

The Elite Ayrshire Business Circle

Friday, 12 December 2014

Nicola Sturgeon chairs first National Economic Forum meeting as First Minister

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon opened the National Economic Forum this week, and told delegates that the new Scottish Business Pledge will lead to a more competitive economy and a fairer society.


Nine Scottish Government ministers, including the First Minister and Deputy First Minister, took part in the event, chairing breakout sessions that take forward the Scottish Government's dialogue with businesses.

Addressing business leaders in Edinburgh, the First Minister invited businesses to play a part in shaping policies to grow the economy and tackle inequality. 

Businesses will be asked to commit themselves to good business practices, such as innovation and internationalisation, as well as a living wage, gender equality and supporting workforce engagement. In return, the companies will be offered more support from the Scottish Government and enterprise agencies. 

The First Minister said: “The principle of the pledge is straightforward. It enshrines the idea that just as Government will work with business to create a prosperous and strong economy, so business can play a part in delivering a flourishing and a fair society. Nine Scottish Government ministers are here today, covering a wide range of portfolio interests from External Affairs to Skills, Social Justice and Infrastructure. 

“Today marks the continuation of a dialogue about how best to make our economy more compatible and our society fairer. Part of that will be the Scottish Business Pledge and we will consider the scope of that further. We need to consider what business wants from government and what contribution business can make in return. We also need to ensure that the pledge makes a real difference.

“What I’m looking to establish is, in effect, a partnership. The Government will support a strong and competitive economy, so that Government and employers together can support a fairer, more prosperous Scotland.”

The First Minister also confirmed that in future forums will also be held outside Edinburgh: the next one will be held in Dundee in early 2015.

The First Minister added: “We value the opportunity this forum gives us, to engage with organisations and individuals from across Scotland. We want to ensure in future that an even wider range of people get a chance to participate.”

The purpose of the National Economic Forum (NEF) is to allow the Government to draw from the widest pool of opinion and good ideas to flow from the Forum to those directly advising the First Minister, her Cabinet and the Government.

Read the First Minister’s first major speech to Scotland’s business sector. CLICK HERE

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