'Productivity surpasses China'

WORKER productivity at Edinburgh Park, the business zone on the west side of Edinburgh, is one of the highest of any area in the UK and ranks among the most productive countries in the world.

Using Scottish Government data, researchers at consultancy firm DTZ Pieda have found economic growth figures for Edinburgh Park is higher, year-on-year, than that of China.

Their soon-to-be-released research also shows year-on-year growth at the Edinburgh Quay and Exchange financial districts in the city centre exceeds that of India and the productivity of Edinburgh Park is exceptionally high, with 1.6 million of profit raised for each 1m of wages paid.

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Using available government statistics and data, this allowed the DTZ researchers to measure the gross value added (GVA), which is a measurement that can be used for the economic growth. GVA stands for the value of all goods and services produced by an economy.

DTZ associate's director, Richard Marsh, said GVA is a useful indicator of the economy as it measures the value of goods and services produced by the vast range of economic units ranging from farms, electronics plants, internet providers, hairdressers to computer games designers in a consistent and reasonably coherent way.

He said: "It can be used to measure countries and for example business parks.

"Hence we know that the value added by recycling in Yorkshire and Humberside [76m GVA basic prices] is similar to the value added by fish farming in Scotland [70m GVA basic prices]."

Most developed countries produce measures of GVA to the same precise recipe allowing international benchmarking and comparisons of clusters and sectors across countries, states, regions and cities.

Marsh said the recipe used to build GVA figures for the business parks is the same as those used for the countries.

He said: "Moving from GVA measures for the City of Edinburgh [published by the Office for National Statistics] to a GVA figure for Edinburgh Park is, in theory, no different from moving from GVA figures for Scotland to Edinburgh, or UK to Scotland for that matter.

"At a country level, economic growth is more likely to be tied to broader improvements in society, competitiveness and entrepeneurship across the country.

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"For a small area like Edinburgh Park, the figures are more likely to show the success of businesses moving to, and growing within, Edinburgh Park - isolating these factors is precisely where we build the data up."

Marsh said the business park sites in Edinburgh and Livingston are attracting successful businesses, but many have grown their success after locating there through expansion and greater profits.

He added: "Our research shows productivity figures per worker at these business parks are well ahead of the Scottish average, UK average and match US cities and London."