Open for business
15 Jul 2015
The First Minister's message to an audience in London this week
is that Scotland is open for business.
Nicola Sturgeon spoke of the attractiveness of Scotland as a
place to invest. She listed our global reputation which outstrips
many similar-sized countries, our record of being the top ranked UK
region for securing foreign direct investment outside London and
our educated and skilled workforce. Our food and drink sector -
including Scotch Whisky - was described as 'the darling of
London should not be seen as a threat, she said, but an
opportunity to help Scotland grow even further - a gateway to
investment to be nurtured.
The SWA is no stranger to this approach. As we grow the market
for Scotch Whisky across the world, the SWA continues to build on
the opportunity that London offers with the opening this month of a
new and permanent presence at the heart of Westminster.
After the General Election, there is a different political
landscape to navigate. There are new Ministers to meet, new
relationships to forge and new alliances to build.
While the work of the SWA in its Edinburgh HQ continues, based
in a new location in the Quartermile area of the city from this
autumn, the London office will enhance what has been done over
previous years to engage with key influencers to advance the
interests of the industry.
As the First Minister said in her Mansion House speech this
week, London is an opportunity. This is as true for SWA as it is
It gives our member companies more opportunity to build towards
the fairer tax regime that the industry has consistently called
for. It opens up the prospect of dialogue with a wider range of
government departments, think tanks, and others on issues the
industry cares about, such as responsible alcohol consumption and
sustainability. And it helps opens new doors to many of the
developing export markets that are ripe for the expansion of our
Like Scotland, the SWA's London office is open for business.
Graeme Littlejohn, SWA head of external relations