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BLOG: SCDI chief exec, Ross Martin, on sustainable growth and the economy of the future

Ross Martin, Chief Executive at SCDI (Scottish Council for Development and Industry) is a member of the Low Carbon Infrastructure Task Force. Here he explains why SCDI is 'engaging civic Scotland’ to help deliver the economy of the future, with sustainable growth as the key characteristic.

As the Chief Executive of SCDI (Scottish Council for Development & Industry), a membership organisation which is active across the whole economy, covering all sectors in all geographies, I lead an organisation which acts as a thermometer of the Scottish economy. Our uniquely wide and diverse membership base allows us to take the temperature of the economy simply by having a conversation across our membership. 

 The Scottish, and the UK economy more widely, suffers from three long standing, structural deficits, each of which require modern, low carbon infrastructure to support the step changes required to make us more competitive in an increasingly challenging global marketplace, namely: in tackling poor productivity; driving up very low levels of innovation; and taking an approach to internationalisation that can diversify our trade from the current position where 50% of our total exports are driven by only 50 of our trading companies. 

 The Low Carbon Infrastructure Task Force, which is seeking to develop ideas and initiatives which can deliver specific items of low carbon infrastructure, is absolutely aligned to SCDI's work in ‘driving economic growth’, although the project proposals which it promotes aren't necessarily endorsed by our entire membership. Whereas SCDI, a membership organisation created in the depth of the most challenging recession ever to hit the global economy back in the 1930s, is ‘engaging civic Scotland’ to help deliver the economy of the future, we want to see sustainable growth as the key characteristic, and recognise that some specific proposals won't articulate with our central narrative. 

However, any disagreements over specific proposals are easily outweighed by the benefits of identifying key, and/or symbolic items of infrastructure that will enable us all to take our next steps on the journey to a low carbon future, and I'd therefore commend the work of the Low Carbon Task Force to you.

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