Scottish Chambers of Commerce (SCC) president Tim Allan said the business network saw 2018 as a year to focus on growing Scotland’s economy, thanks to the absence of any elections or referenda this year.
Mr Allan said: “As policy-makers grapple with an underperforming economy and Brexit negotiations intensify, this year SCC will focus on skills shortages and internationalisation to boost lagging exports, while delivering practical growth programmes for member companies.
“In overseas trade, this will be the year when the network’s careful relationship-building begins to yield measurable commercial results for Scottish companies.”
Mr Allan highlighted Wick-based deep-sea camera specialist Kongsberg Maritime as an example of world-class Scottish manufacturing exporters to “take inspiration from”.
He added: “As the overall shape of future trade relations between the UK and the EU emerges from the Brexit negotiations, SCC will continue to monitor the content of the deal and advocate for Scottish business priorities, notably secure labour supply and continued ease of passage for goods and services.
“Closer to home, where recent economic forecasts continue to paint a challenging picture for the UK and for Scotland, SCC will continue to press our governments to help business to thrive.”