SCDI leads charge to help Scottish businesses achieve global ambitions

In Glasgow on Thursday 21 September, SCDI convened a Summit of Scotland's business leaders to identify opportunities for the country to fulfil its global economic potential in a post-Brexit environment.

The annual SCDI International Business Summit brought together leaders from key sectors across the Scottish economy and expert speakers from government and industry. The summit on the theme of 'Scottish Business: Rising To International Challenges' examined the landscape surrounding Scotland's international trade and considered the critical foundations that will help to form a post-Brexit trade agenda for the Scottish economy.

Mark Bevan, SCDI Chief Executive, commented: "As the World Economic Forum meets in New York to discuss sustainable international trade, SCDI convened its third International Business Summit to identify how Scotland can maximise global opportunities and navigate this increasingly complex environment.

"Scotland is home to many international success stories - from our universities and tech sector to tourism, travel, food and drink. Their growth, increased output and investment provide grounds for optimism. However, with significant challenges on the horizon and little certainty on the landscape, action must be taken to support Scotland's economic strengths."

The summit heard from a range of experts and business leaders, including EDF Energy, AGS Airports Ltd, Lloyds Banking Group, Scotland Food & Drink and TATA Limited in UK.

Mark Bevan continued: "Today's findings will help to prepare the foundations for a post-Brexit trade agenda for the Scottish economy. SCDI will continue its work to shape the future economy of Scotland, taking steps to support and meet the needs of business growth over the coming decades." 


At the #scdiIntBiz17 Summit in Glasgow, Speakers and Delegates explored key themes including:

Support & Skills for Export - exploring whether we have the correct skills base to grow our exports and trade. What skills and knowledge will underpin this new growth area? Providing an overview of some of the tools which can support businesses looking to export for the first time or to grow their export potential.

Scottish Sectoral Overview: Brexit Mitigations - looking across Scotland's key sectors and understanding what impacts Brexit may have and whether these can be mitigated? Discussions will paint a strong cross-sectoral message from Scotland on where priorities may lie in the negotiation process when viewed through a Scottish lens.

Trade Policy Outlook - examining what options are available to businesses in a post-Brexit trading environment? If we are to strengthen trade policy to look beyond European markets how should we do that?

New Horizons & Opportunities - identifying where opportunities lie to stimulate further trade growth, exploring the global zones and sectors where we expect to see high growth in the coming years with insights from those engaging in those markets.

In addition a UK Government Update & Priorities session around the Brexit process from the Director General for UK Governance at the Cabinet Office, Lucy Smith.

Supported by Strategic Partners Bank of Scotland, Brodies LLP and VisitScotland, the Summit was Facilitated by experienced international Business Executive Anne MacColl and enjoyed contributions and expertise from across a wide variety of business sectors, with Speakers including:

Lucy Smith - Director General for UK Governance, Cabinet Office
Prof James Rollo - Prof.Emeritus & Deputy Director, The UK Trade Policy Observatory, University of Sussex; & Assoc.Research Fellow at Chatham House
Dr David Landsman OBE - Executive Director of TATA Ltd in UK, & member of Group Board of UK India Business Council
Brian McClean - Group Head of Communications, AGS Airports Ltd
Duncan Lodge - Director & Head of Strategy, Innovation & Trade Lending, Bank of Scotland
Charlie Smith - Director of Marketing & Digital, VisitScotland
David Cameron - Head of Scottish Policy, EDF Energy
Charles Livingstone - Partner, Brodies LLP
Dr Peter Mowforth - CEO, INDEZ
Angela de Britos - Professional Development Officer, Scotland's National Centre of Languages - University of Strathclyde
Dr Claudia Duffy - European Patent Attorney, Ellis IP Ltd (British Council)
James Withers - Chief Executive, Scotland Food & Drink