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15 November 2023 |

November Policy Update

Submission – Just Transition for the North East and Moray

Prosper submitted a response to the Scottish Parliament’s Economy and Fair Work Committee Inquiry into a Just Transition for the North East and Moray.

Our submission was shaped by our members and highlighted:

· The Just Transition Fund should be fully aligned with the regional economic strategy and local stakeholders should be more closely consulted in decision-making

· Investors should be involved in developing the strategy in order to unlock private capital

· Worker and community engagement should also be a priority

· There should be a managed rather than a disruptive transition from oil and gas to protect the supply chain and jobs and support the energy transition

· Investment and clarity about reforms in skills and lifelong learning to meet industries’ and workers’ changing needs is essential

· Visibility about post-ScotWind projects and tackling key barriers to projects (e.g. planning and grid) will increase supply chain confidence

Prosper North East Regional Manager, John Urquhart, along with North East Committee members attended an evidence-gathering roundtable for regional stakeholders with MSPs from the Economy and Fair Work Committee in Aberdeen on 6 November.

International Business Committee

Our International Business Committee (IBC) met Lord Offord of Garvel, Minister for Exports, UK Government who discussed his priorities and highlighted his personal priority of increasing exports by small businesses. He explained the range of resources that are now available for exporters and highlighted its communication to businesses as a key challenge.

The IBC updated the Minister on trade issues for their organisations and sectors and there was a varied discussion:

· Support from International Trade Advisors and business networks

· Upgrading Free Trade Agreements to include more on services

· Export health certification for salmon

· The Scottish and UK business environment, including excise duty for spirits

· Global opportunities for consultancy services in green finance and smart cities

· Leveraging opportunities from higher education for SMEs and from their overseas student populations.

The International Business Committee also discussed the UK Government’s proposals to expand export support in Scotland with the Minister and officials.

Clean Growth

Prosper’s Clean Growth Group met Lucy Geoghan, Head of New Green Deal, Scottish Government to discuss development of the Scottish Green Industrial Strategy. The group offered their initial feedback on the planned work and stakeholder engagement. Areas raised included: principles for the strategy; prioritisation; international examples; the planning system; interface with place-based strategies; and resource use and critical raw materials. Prosper will be supporting the development of the strategy.

Prosper International Business Committee