The statement that “for established big employers it could make it, at best, a very uncertain place and at worst, a country to get out of” is not only disparaging of the creativity and capabilities of those employers, and his fellow citizens, but does not reflect the recent oil industry survey, the N-56 commissioned study (Business, 23 June) or even opinion in the legal profession as expressed in the Letters page (also 23 June).
Of course there will be many challenges ahead of an independent Scotland, but most business leaders, including those in our largest companies, would not have successfully grown their companies without recognising and exploiting good opportunities.
While no doubt there will be some company bosses, particularly the more conservative minded, who will consider relocating parts of their businesses away from Scotland, for every company that sees short-term benefits in such a move there will be another company, and probably many more if a new Scottish Government in an independent Scotland creates the appropriate business environment, that will decide to relocate parts of its business to Scotland.
The good news for our country is that the growing companies that will undoubtedly come to Scotland will generally be investing for the long-term and helping to create employment and prosperity for future generations.
I noted with interest the issues raised in the article by Peter Jones which presents business as either the beneficiary or victim of government policy.
As a new business-led initiative, the overriding objective of N-56 is to grow Scotland’s economy to become one of the top five wealthiest countries in the world through doubling the economic wealth of the nation over 25 years.
As a nation we need to move towards an approach that sees business not as beneficiaries or hapless victims of government, as the article suggests, but working collaboratively with government, the public sector and civic society to develop and shape a national economic strategy for Scotland.
This is part of the reason why we launched our Scotland Means Business reports this week. Drawing inspiration from economic innovation from across the globe we worked with a team of leading international economists, using examples from the likes of Denmark, Chicago, New Zealand and Singapore, all of which have developed ambitious economic strategies.
The Danish Globalisation Council, for example, was established between the government, public, private sector and civic society to respond to the global economic environment and to plan ahead in developing a unique national economic strategy.
Clearly there is no magic bullet to deal with the economic challenges Scotland faces, but a new economic strategy with business at its very heart and which it has assisted in devising and implementing is vital.
We would very much welcome contributions from the business community to help shape this national economic strategy as we look to ensure that Scotland truly realises its full potential.