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Scottish trade : winds of change

Walker, Jim (1983) Scottish trade : winds of change. Quarterly Economic Commentary, 8 (3). pp. 33-36. ISSN 0306-7866

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In February 1970 the Scottish Council (Development and Industry) published a document entitled Oceanspan: A Maritime Based Development Strategy for A European Scotland 1970-2000. This study was intended as a blueprint for the development of an integrated transport and industrial system stretching across the central belt of Scotland. The basic premise of the study was that, because of Scotland's strategic position as regards trade flows from both Europe and North America and its history of open and free trade, it would be the ideal site for the development of large scale entrepot trade (similar to the tobacco trade which flourished in Glasgow during the 18th and 19th centuries). The basic amenities readily available in Scotland such as shipbuilding and ship repair facilities, established port developments on both coasts, an industrial structure based on converting raw materials into goods at a higher level of fabrication and a well trained and highly skilled workforce, were seen as being of prime importance to the plan. This "economic perspective" the prospects of a maritime economic growth strategy emerging in Scotland.