Alistair Dodds said the report underlined the potential of rural regions to make a strong contribution Scotland’s economic recovery.
Mr Dodds said:
“This is a very thorough and detailed report and I want to record our thanks to Benny Higgins and the Advisory Group for turning it around so quickly.
“One thing I particularly welcome is that there’s a big focus here on practical steps that the enterprise agencies and our partners can take to lift the country out of the present situation and get the economy moving again as quickly as we can.
“Our businesses, third sector and communities need action from public bodies, and the report understands that.
“It’s also clear that the Highlands and Islands, and other rural areas, can play a central role in delivering Scotland’s economic recovery.
“Its emphasis on regionally-driven development, underpinned by effective co-ordination between public bodies, aligns completely with our direction of travel as an agency.
“Many of the recommendations also highlight the significant potential of our islands and the rural mainland, particularly when that is supported by investment in digital infrastructure including high-speed broadband and mobile technology.
“Sectors including tourism, food and drink, and creative industries that are particularly strong in the Highlands and Islands are highlighted as having national significance.
“The region’s potential to play a leading role in developing the green economy is another aspect that we are committed to developing.
“The report also clearly understands the vital role of the third sector and communities in delivering recovery, which is very encouraging.
“Highlands and Islands Enterprise is pleased to welcome this report and look forward to adopting its recommendations in our own forward planning and actions.”
The report was published today (Monday 22 June) by Scottish Government.