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New Chief Executive for SDI

17 December 2010

Issued by the Scottish Government.

The new Chief Executive of Scottish Development International (SDI) will promote Scotland overseas and support Scottish firms entering new international markets.

Announcing the appointment today Finance Secretary John Swinney said:

"Anne MacColl has an impressive track record in representing Scotland overseas. She has all the expertise required to maintain SDI's strong performance and promote Scotland's economic strengths such as life sciences, green energy and the development of a low carbon economy.

"In the last financial year, SDI's promotion of Scotland as a great place to do business directly helped to generate more than 500 million pounds of planned inward investment from companies including Ryan air and Tesco Personal Finance. This success has continued in the current financial year with investments from companies including John Lewis, Barclays, Vertex and Hewlett Packard.

"Last year, SDI helped more than 900 companies enter new international markets. With a view to helping even more company's trade internationally, the organisation has recently launched the new Smart Exporter initiative in partnership with Scottish Chambers International. Anne and her team have a crucial role to play in building on this success and helping to sustain the fragile economic recovery that is underway in Scotland.

"Figures this week showed the fifth consecutive reported rise in employment in Scotland, with unemployment falling for the first time in a year. Scotland's manufactured exports continued to grow in the second quarter of this year, while the value of Scottish exports increased by 3.4 per cent over the year to September - strong evidence of improving economic performance."

Ms MacColl, previously SDI's Operations Director for Europe, the Middle East and Africa, became acting Chief Executive in August 2010.

She said:

"I'm thrilled to be taking up this post and am proud to have the opportunity to put Scotland on the map internationally, and of course to also put 'international' on the map for Scotland. The challenge is how we articulate Scotland's unique strengths and world-class capabilities to the rest of the world - we must educate potential inward investors about what Scotland really represents and about what our companies and our business environment have to offer.

"SDI is an organisation with a tremendous reputation so it is a privilege to take up this post and I look forward to continuing to work with our professional and dedicated SDI teams across Scotland and throughout our network of overseas trade and investment offices, so we get the message out loud and clear: Scotland is a great place to work, live and invest."

Lena Wilson, Chief Executive of Scottish Enterprise, said:

"This is a terrific appointment for SDI. As acting Chief Executive, Anne has demonstrated outstanding leadership qualities, continuing to secure inward investment for Scotland in a highly competitive international environment and displaying a real desire to get Scottish companies to become more globally ambitious.

"This is a high profile and challenging role, but I have every confidence in Anne's ability to take the organisation on to new levels and I look forward to continuing to work with her as we focus on selling Scotland's globally competitive companies, sectors and business environment."

Alex Paterson, Chief Executive of Highlands and Islands Enterprise, said:

"The opportunities Scottish Development International can offer ambitious Highlands and Islands businesses put its role right at the heart of economic growth for our region. We look forward to working closely with Anne. Together we can support our businesses to achieve far reaching international success and target investment which will accelerate the growth of our key and emerging sectors."

The new Chief Executive of SDI will receive a salary of 100,000 pounds. Scottish Government pay policy suspends access to bonuses for 2011-12.

SDI drives growth in the Scottish economy and promotes Scotland as an attractive place to do business and invest, learn, live and work. SDI's four core objectives are:

  • Engaging at business, corporate and institutional level to attract inward investment;
  • Supporting international trade;
  • Ensuring leverage of Scotland's world renowned education sector; and
  • Supporting Scotland's overseas promotion.

SDI is a joint venture between the Scottish Government, Scottish Enterprise and Highlands and Islands Enterprise.

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