Scotland must become the ‘digital capital of Europe.’

Scotland must transform itself into the "digital business capital of Europe", according to a blueprint to restart the country's beleaguered economy published by the Tories.

Scotland must establish itself as a digital business hub
Scotland must establish itself as a digital business hub

The party says its document, entitled Rebuilding Scotland's Economy, provides a "more immediate and tangible set of actions" than the Scottish Government’s economic advisory group’s proposals this week

It sets out a five-point plan aimed at saving jobs and businesses amid growing fears of an economic crisis as a result of Coronavirus lockdown.

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A key recommendation is for a a specialised E-Commerce Task Force to be established to help move 5,000 to 10,000 firms a year online and increase trade with existing new export markets.

It also calls Scotland to be sold "harder inside the UK" with a network of new trade offices in UK regions, along with a "virtual" network of Global Scots to keep selling Scotland abroad when in-person visits are not possible

There should also be changes to public procurement to support local economies.

Tory Economy spokesman Maurice Golden said: “Our economy needs urgent action – now is the time for specific and targeted improvements to save jobs, save businesses and save communities.

“Many long-term weaknesses of the Scottish economy have been further exacerbated by the Covid crisis. The SNP’s economic policy has been exposed for what it is – patchy, weak and wholly unfocussed.

“There is no public agency able to shift Scottish business online en masse. We need a specialist team to lead the charge.

“We are starting from a low base but establishing Scotland as the online capital of Europe moves our economy in the right direction at the right time."

Scotland’s economy shrunk by an estimated 19% in April as a result of lockdown with unemployment soaring by 30,000 to 127,000.

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