The Purpose of the Scottish Government is to focus government and public services on creating a more successful country, with opportunities for all of Scotland to flourish, through increasing sustainable economic growth.
Scotland has a strong economy and is wealthy and productive. Our economy grew by 1.9% over 2015, in line with forecasts. Our GDP per head (excluding oil) is the highest in the UK after London and South East. We attracted more inward investment in 2015 than anywhere else in the UK outside London, and we have a labour market which has remained resilient following the 2008 financial crisis.
Our colleges and universities educate, build confidence, develop skills, encourage innovation and help drive the economic growth we need. Their contribution promotes Scotland's international standing as a competitive nation, based on the skills of our people and the quality of our ideas.
But the economic challenges are increasing. Scotland's international rankings show the challenges we face in matching our key competitors in productivity, innovating and exporting, improving our income inequality, and addressing key skills gaps and structural unemployment. The outcome of the EU Referendum has also generated volatility in financial markets and heightened economic uncertainty. At this point the full impact is uncertain, but over coming weeks we will start to understand more about the economic implications.
Scotland's Economic Strategy sets out the approach to achieving our national Purpose and the ambition for Scotland to rank in the top quartile of OECD nations for productivity, inequality, sustainability and wellbeing. The approach is based around the two mutually supportive goals of increasing competitiveness and tackling inequality. The strategy sets out four priority areas for supporting sustainable economic growth:
- Investing in our people and our infrastructure in a sustainable way;
- Fostering a culture of innovation and research and development;
- Promoting inclusive growth and creating opportunity through a fair and inclusive jobs market and regional cohesion;
- Promoting Scotland on the international stage to boost our trade and investment, influence and networks.
These priorities are underpinned by a number of the Scottish Government's key policies. Scotland also has a clear national performance framework; a common way of assessing whether we are meeting our ambition of increased economic growth and productivity and higher social inclusion. More information on how our policies link together and the way we measure our progress is at Annex A . Annex B outlines the wide range of functions that the agencies carry out.