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E-commerce touted as essential for economic growth in Scotland

28 February 2011 - 09:23 by Paul Tissington

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Experts believe that the best way for the Scottish economy to grow in the coming years is for a greater degree of investment to be provided for the e-commerce industry.

A report published by trade body ScotlandIS suggests that the economy could be worth another £12 billion each year if e-commerce is further integrated into the business landscape, consequently creating careers for 20,000 people.

The report suggests that Scotland could be home to one of the world most successful, vibrant economies based on e-commerce, although it also warns that a failure to act will see it slipping behind as it will not be able to keep up with the ever-increasing importance of digital industries.

To help facilitate e-commerce growth and expand safe shopping online the body is recommending that companies operating in this field are given tax breaks to entice them to Scotland while the network infrastructure which enables digital communication is better coupled with European allies.

At the moment most Scottish connections to the rest of the world pass through London, with ScotlandIS recommending that this state of affairs is altered so that the nation has a direct link with mainland Europe.

Spokesperson David Cairns said that the internet would allow people who are currently excluded from safe shopping online to become part of the community, breaking down barriers for those who live in isolated areas or those who are currently unable to afford a high speed connection at home.

Mr Cairns believes that Scottish workers can benefit from increased e-commerce activity, gaining skills which will help to improve their positions and enhancing the economy as a whole.

Experts are worried that Scotland is falling behind the rest of the UK when it comes to e-commerce and IT solutions, which is a point this report seeks to highlight.