'Building a stronger economy' theme for annual Business in the Parliament conference


Business leaders and politicians will gather at Holyrood today to discuss how to re-build the economy and avoid another recession.

The sixth annual Business in the Parliament (BiP) conference will focus on how the public and private sectors can work together, against a background of budget cuts, to lead the economy out of the doldrums. It will be the final BiP conference before next year’s Scottish Parliament Election.

The conference, jointly organised by the Scottish Parliament and Scottish Government, brings together MSPs and senior figures from businesses and organisations across the country.

Keynote speakers include:

  • Chairman of Lloyds Banking Group, Sir Winfried Bischoff.
  • First Minister the Rt Hon Alex Salmond.
  • Presiding Officer Alex Fergusson MSP.
  • Iain Smith MSP , Convener of the Scottish Parliament Economy, Energy and Tourism Committee
  • Cabinet Secretary for Finance and Sustainable Growth, John Swinney MSP.
  • Aggreko Chief Executive, Rupert Soames.
  • Dr Janet Lowe, board member of Skills Development Scotland, member of the Court of the University of Dundee and a US-UK Fulbright Commissioner.

Presiding Officer Alex Fergusson MSP said: “The Business in the Parliament Conference, now in its sixth year, brings together leading names from the worlds of politics, the public sector and business to examine burning issues for the Scottish economy".

“The Scottish Parliament is delighted to host an event which brings together these key players in the Scottish economy.”

Economy, Energy and Tourism Committee convener, Iain Smith MSP said: "This year’s conference will focus on how businesses can work with the public sector to ensure Scotland doesn’t end up lagging behind other economies as we come out of a severe recession.

"It comes at a particularly pertinent time, as the public sector focuses on how to balance a reduction in budgets with supporting growth."

"There is a varied range of speakers taking part and they will be asking questions and demanding answers on such issues as the level of support given to businesses by banks."

Finance Secretary John Swinney MSP said: "In order to secure the economic recovery already underway, it is vital that the public and private sectors work together.

"Business in the Parliament provides an important forum for leading figures from politics, business and the public sector to discuss the economy and how best to deliver the sustainable success we all want to see."

Chairman of Lloyds Banking Group, Sir Winfried Bischoff said : “It is essential the public and private sectors work together to ensure Scotland's economic recovery continues to gather momentum. This conference will help us scrutinise this challenge and also explain what we are doing to support Scottish businesses."

As part of the conference there will also be a number of discussion sessions on topics such as:

  • 'Banking reform' - hosted by John Swinney and facilitated by Chief Executive of Scottish Financial Enterprise, Owen Kelly.
  • 'Sustainable transport' - hosted by Minister for Transport, Infrastructure and Climate Change, Stewart Stevenson MSP and facilitated by Managing Director of First Scotrail, Steve Montgomery.

Further information about the event can be found at:

Textphone users can contact us on 0800 092 7100. We also welcome calls using the RNID Typetalk service. Email: sp.info@scottish.parliament.uk. You can now get in touch with the Parliament by text message. Our interactive service enables you to get the name of your MSP by sending your postcode, lets you ask questions about the Parliament and its work, and enables you to request a selection of free leaflets. The number to call is 07786 209888. Texts are charged at standard network rates. More details can be found on our Text Service page.

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