Holyrood announces fourth 'Business in the Parliament' conference


The Scottish Parliament has today announced that the fourth Business in the Parliament conference will take place at Holyrood from 21 to 22 February 2008.

Run jointly with the Scottish Government, the conference’s main aim is to provide a forum by which Ministers and MSPs can engage with the business community.

The annual event is expected to attract in excess of 200 business men and women from across Scotland’s business sector.

Tavish Scott, Convener of the Scottish Parliament’s Economy, Energy and Tourism Committee said:

“I am delighted that the Scottish Parliament is, for the fourth year, hosting this conference in partnership with the Scottish Government.

“This is a great opportunity for politicians to engage first hand with the business community and hear its views on the challenges and opportunities for achieving sustainable economic growth.

“It is imperative that we encourage an open and creative environment where we can build on emerging consensus to further our key aim of growing the Scottish economy.”

Leading names from the business community will participate in the conference, including Ian Marchant, Chief Executive of Scottish and Southern Energy, Susan Rice, Chief Executive of Lloyds TSB and Professor John Kay, visiting professor at the London School of Economics.

Ian Marchant, Chief Executive, Scottish and Southern Energy said:

"All members of the Scottish Parliament and all businesses operating in Scotland have a common interest in maximising the prosperity of the country.  The Conference will be an excellent forum for looking at ways in which MSPs and businesses can work together better to advance that common interest, for the benefit of everyone in Scotland."

An international perspective will be provided by the Honourable Rick Thorpe, Minister of Small Business and Revenue for the Government of British Columbia.

The Presiding Officer, Alex Fergusson will welcome delegates to Holyrood at an evening reception on the first night of the conference.

The theme of this year’s conference is achieving sustainable economic growth. Delegates will hear from a range of speakers and participate in a series of discussion groups focusing on topics such as the energy industry, tourism, food and drinks industries, financial services industry and the electronics markets industry.

Karol Rzepkowski, Managing Director, No Catch Cod Ltd said:

“A growing importance is now being placed on sustainable aquaculture to meet demand from consumers. I’m delighted to be given the opportunity to represent this growing industry, and explain how No Catch has created a dynamic brand that has tailored its business and production to emerging consumer environmental expectations.”

The conference will be brought to a close with a speech by the First Minister, Alex Salmond.

Media wishing to attend any part of the conference should contact Susan Gray in the Media Relations Office, details below.

The conference programme is due to run as follows:

Thursday 21st February, 2008



Welcome – Alex Fergusson MSP, Presiding Officer

Drinks reception, the Garden Lobby

Dinner (Main Hall/Garden Lobby)

Friday 22nd February, 2008
9.00am Welcome – Alex Fergusson MSP, Presiding Officer (Debating Chamber)
9.10am Opening Address


Views from the business community

Ian Marchant, Chief Executive, Scottish and Southern Energy and chair of the Scottish Government’s Climate Change Business Delivery Group

Susan Rice, Chief Executive, Lloyds TSB

Professor John Kay, visiting professor at the London School of Economics and member of the Council of Economic Advisers (TBC)

Managing Director, No Catch Cod, Shetland Isles (TBC)

10.20am Discussion Sessions
12.15pm Feedback and Open Forum
1.00pm An international perspective - Honorable Rick Thorpe, Minister of Small Business & Revenue, The Government of British Columbia (TBC)
1.30pm Closing speech - The First Minister, The Rt. Hon Alex Salmond MP MSP
1.45pm Closing Remarks and Close

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