The Scottish Chambers of Commerce Network, met with Cabinet Secretary for Economy, Jobs and Fair Work, Keith Brown MSP at the Scottish Parliament today (5th July 2016).
Liz Cameron OBE, Chief Executive and Director of the Scottish Chambers of Commerce has said that the UK-wide referendum vote for Brexit vote would prompt the Network to be “more proactive” in strengthening direct links with Chambers throughout the European Union,
During the meeting, Ms Cameron revealed plans to accelerate the Chambers’ internationalisation drive in the wake of the Leave vote in the EU referendum. She also stressed the need to restore market stability and political clarity in the UK’s “new journey” outside the EU,
She said: “Chambers of Commerce is a worldwide network. There is a rich and energetic family of both national and local Chambers all across the world, and EU countries especially have a long tradition of powerful Chambers of Commerce, and Chambers in Scotland have frequently interacted with them.”
“More proactive and co-ordinated courting of the Chambers movement in Europe is one means of maintaining the profile of important trading links during the uncertainty that Brexit negotiations will bring.”
In describing the international Chamber connections activity, Ms Cameron cited the example of an MoU that Glasgow Chamber of Commerce have signed with the British Chambers of Commerce Italy (BCCI) in Milan.
“Glasgow Chamber will take the opportunity to stress that profitable B2B links between Scotland and Northern Italy are not disappearing because of the Brexit decision” she said.
“In addition, we will be forming a Scottish Business European Trade Advisory Group to enable businesses to inform and influence negotiations, making sure that our future trading relationships with EU nations have economic growth at its core.”
Ms Cameron emphasised that Scottish business needed early progress on the terms of the Brexit deal to reassure investors and protect Scottish exports currently sold in the EU.
“The Scotland economy already faced headwinds due to issues like the weakening oil price and the slowing of global demand. In the light of the Brexit vote, it is in everyone’s interest to work together to preserve jobs and investment and minimise damaging uncertainty over the terms of future trade agreements and labour mobility. ”