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David Mundell announces membership of new Scottish Business Taskforce

A new Scottish Business Taskforce of economic and business leaders will come together to discuss ways to help support some of Scotland’s most important sectors, including oil and gas, tourism, financial services and food and drink.

Scottish Secretary David Mundell confirmed today (25th October) in the House of Commons that the group will meet for the first time on Friday, chaired by former UK Government Minister Andrew Dunlop. 

The Scottish Business Taskforce’s aim is to exert a positive influence on the development of UK Government policy, and in so doing help to advance Scotland’s interests.  In the first meeting the group will discuss the Scottish economy, Industrial Strategy as well as progress made in City Region Deals. 

Chaired by former UK Government Minister Andrew Dunlop, the panel comprises:

• Marc Crothall CEO - Scottish Tourism Alliance

• Prof Susan Deacon - Assistant Principal External Relations, University of Edinburgh and Chair, IoD Scotland

• Jayne-Anne Gadhia - Chief Executive, Virgin Money

• Jo Macsween - Vistage Group Chair and ex MD Macsween of Edinburgh 

• Prof. Graeme Roy - Director, Fraser of Allander, University of Strathclyde 

• Louise Smith - HMT Fintech envoy Scotland and Head of Design, Personal and Business Banking RBS

• Douglas Smith - Chairman - Scotland, CBRE

• Neil Sims - VP, Expro - North Sea

• Chris Van der Kuyl - Chairman, 4J Studios

• Ellis Watson - Executive Chairman DC Thomson Media

• Will Whitehorn - Chair, Scottish Exhibition Centre and Clyde Space

• Brian Wilson - Chair, Harris Tweed Hebrides

The Taskforce’s core membership are all business and economic leaders who have been invited to join in their personal capacity and on the basis of their knowledge and experience, rather than representing a particular trade body or organisation.

David Mundell said:

“The Scottish Business Taskforce boasts an unrivalled wealth of expert analysis and knowledge. The members represent the diversity and talent of Scottish business and will ensure that the UK Government is seeking the best advice from leaders in their fields. 

“Chaired by my former colleague Andrew Dunlop who is a business expert in his own right, this taskforce will provide the insight to ensure we are delivering for Scottish businesses.”

The first meeting of the group will take place in Edinburgh on the 27th October, and will discuss the state of the Scottish economy, the UK Government’s Industrial Strategy, innovation and the economic powers at the disposal of both governments.

Ahead of the meeting, Scottish Business Taskforce chairman and former UK Government Minister Andrew Dunlop commented:

“As a UK Government Minister, I made it my priority to understand the needs of Scottish businesses and to take action to strengthen the Scottish economy.  And as someone who has also run my own company I can appreciate the importance of creating the right climate in which business can thrive. That’s why I am delighted to be chairing this group, building on both experiences to bang the drum for Scottish businesses.

“The group’s membership engages some of Scotland’s best business and economic brains and draws on experience of diverse sectors from fintech and new media to the iconic Harris Tweed and Macsween’s world famous produce.

“The UK Government Scottish Business Taskforce will focus on how the UK Government can use its policy levers to improve our productivity performance and promote strong economic growth in Scotland.  Our work will feed directly into the UK Government and provide a constructive contribution to its joint work with the Scottish Government.”

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