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Stocking the glen : the relationship between original equipment manufacturers and the Scottish supply base

McCalman, James (1997) Stocking the glen : the relationship between original equipment manufacturers and the Scottish supply base. Quarterly Economic Commentary, 23 (1). pp. 40-49. ISSN 0306-7866

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As one of the major employment sectors in Scotland, Electronics has been championed as the saviour of Scottish manufacturing. The concept of silicon glen is a populist image of the survival of productive services in an economy which increasingly is moving towards the service sectors for growth and development. This paper examines the relationship between the largely foreignowned Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEM's) and those organizations which supply them with source materials. It also looks at the perceived opportunities and threats for the long term growth of this industry in Scotland. Specific reference will be made to indigenous firms, particularly in the supply chain. Within electronics there are a number of clear groups that play a significant role; the OEM's, indigenous suppliers, foreign suppliers, Scottish Enterprise, Scottish Trade International and the Scottish Universities. One would suggest that a collaborative framework which seeks to develop the industry to the benefit of foreign investors and local suppliers would be an effective win, win strategy. However, as we shall see there are several limiting factors which currently impede the ability of the local supply base to develop effectively within Scotland let alone seek expansion abroad through exports or other means.