Scotch Whisky producers call for ambitious vision to build economy
23 May 2016
SWA members hold annual gathering in
Scotch Whisky producers called today on new MSPs and the
Scottish Government to work in partnership with one of Scotland's
largest industries to build an ambitious vision for the Scottish
Nearly two hundred people from across the Scotch Whisky industry
gathered today at the annual Members' Day of The Scotch Whisky
Association (SWA) in Edinburgh.
The theme of this year's event was 'Scotch Whisky - learning
from the past, fit for the future' - with companies, small and
large, discussing the industry's priorities at home and abroad, as
well as how Scotch Whisky can continue to succeed in an ever-more
competitive global marketplace.
Scotch Whisky is vital to the UK economy - contributing around
£5 billion each year in added value and supporting more than 40,000
jobs. With annual exports of nearly £4 billion, Scotch Whisky
is the single largest net contributor to the UK's balance of trade
Addressing the event, David Frost, SWA chief executive,
"The current slowdown in Scottish economic indicators is
troubling. To get growth to resume, we call on the Scottish
Government to set an explicit policy goal that Scotland should be
at least as competitive as the rest of the UK- ideally more so -
and to use the new devolved powers with this in mind. This
must include a balanced approach to taxation and sustained
investment in infrastructure and connectivity.
"We also need the Scottish and UK Governments to work together
to foster a dynamic and competitive business environment in
Scotland. The Scotch Whisky industry is ready to work with
both, and our existing work on boosting exports, developing skills,
and achieving demanding environmental targets already shows what
can be achieved through partnership."
A range of extracts from David Frost's speech, covering the EU
referendum, Scotch Whisky exports, excise duty, and the
responsible drinking agenda including the latest proposed Chief
Medical Officer guidelines, can be found below.
Scotland Office Minister Andrew Dunlop, the keynote speaker,
"I am very pleased to be speaking at the SWA's Members'
Day. Scotch whisky is an iconic Scottish product and one of
the UK's finest export goods, with a tremendous international
reputation. The industry is also a key part of the UK's economy,
helping to create jobs, security and prosperity for families across
the country. The UK Government is doing all it can to support the
industry, including by freezing duty and protecting the Scotch
Whisky Geographical Indication. I look forward to working
with the SWA and the new Scottish Government to continue to help
grow this important sector."
The SWA works to sustain Scotch Whisky's place as the world's
leading high quality drink and its long-term growth worldwide.
For more information on the SWA visit www.scotch-whisky.org.uk
and follow us on Twitter @ScotchWhiskySWA.
Images will be available to download via our website flickr feed
later this morning.
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