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Parliamentary debates and questions

S5W-06939: Jamie Greene (West Scotland)

Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party

Date lodged: 7 February 2017

To ask the Scottish Government what action it is taking to attract (a) investors and (b) entrepreneurs from (i) the rest of the UK and (ii) overseas.

Answered by: Paul Wheelhouse 14 March 2017

The Scottish Government, Scottish Enterprise and Highlands and Islands Enterprise are working together through Scottish Development International to attract inward investment to Scotland. Over the last year 55 inward investment projects have been attracted to Scotland and 354 for 4 of the last 5 years. The 2016 Ernst and Young Attractiveness Survey on inward investment to the UK has shown that Scotland is the 2nd most attractive location for Foreign Direct Investment outside of London. With 79% of investors citing the Single Market as an important factor in their decision to locate in Scotland the UK Government's hard approach to Brexit puts this at risk.

Attracting inward investment is becoming increasing competitive on a global basis and it is important we prioritise and co-ordinate our efforts and resources to increase our success rate. To that end we look to match Scotland’s capabilities, assets and resources with the global market opportunity through our sectoral approach. In particular, we are increasing the co-coordinated efforts of our One Scotland approach in the technology and Financial and Business services sectors in California and London given its global hub position.

One of the key factors for an entrepreneur moving to a new country is the presence of a strong, supportive ‘ecosystem’ enabling them to easily access the help they need to grow and develop their business. Through Scotland CAN DO (www.cando.scot), the Scottish Government has been focussed on ensuring that just such a network is in place, with a range of support available from initial advice and signposting to mentoring and networking and a variety of funding options. This support spans public, private and third sector partners who are jointly committed to helping Scotland become the most entrepreneurial society in the world.