Aberdeenshire Councillor Paul Johnston has highlighted the need for some economic ‘re-engineering’ to improve the long term prospects for Aberdeenshire’s economy.
Following a report by Ernst and Young on the growth forecast which shows Scotland positioned wrongly in terms of industries, is urging Aberdeenshire Council to ‘re-engineer’ and work towards more growth industries that are sustainable.
“Whisky has been a growth success for Scotland but it is becoming dominant in the Scottish export sector not solely because of its international success but also because of the lack of success in other sectors.” said Paul. ” It means we should be developing more manufacturing exports in food and sustainably harvest materials around Scotland. The North East in particular is well placed to be a leader in this.”
The growth sectors fro the UK are Transport, Retail and the professional service sector. Councillor Johnston said the that was to be expected in the English South as part of the urban Euro belt.
“Scotland however, is too heavy in mining, quarry, construction and tourism which have been slow to respond to change and are less sustainable in the long run. “
“The North East in particular should place much more emphasis on innovation and the knowledge economy, green energy and the use of our sustainable natural resources particular food and drink – and not just whisky. These have more chance of a long term economic bedrock for us. More suited to our geography and our talents as a community.”
Councillor Johnston said that a revival in fishing as stocks begin to recover means opportunities for fish processing, if the right commercial climate were fostered. He called for more support for the fish processing sector to underpin the sustainable practices of the north east’s fishing fleet.
“Again, I mention brewing as a success story here and there are other food and drink companies, that with support for innovation can be real international winners. It requires to bring about a step change and develop our food culture.” said Councillor Johnston.