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SCC Name Deputy Chief Executive

The Scottish Chambers of Commerce has promoted Charandeep Singh to the new role of Deputy Chief Executive as the business group focuses on growing the reach of the Scottish Chamber Network nationally and internationally.



Charandeep will take on the newly created role with immediate effect. Continuing to work closely with Dr Liz Cameron OBE, Director & Chief Executive of SCC, he will focus on strategy development and implementation, raising and profiling the views of the business community to decision makers and expanding commercial opportunities for the Scottish Chamber Network.

He has worked with SCC for six years, most recently as its Head of External Relations.

Commenting on the appointment, Dr Liz Cameron OBE, Director & Chief Executive, said:

"Our Network is growing and strengthening its position to promote the interests of Scottish business nationally and internationally. To achieve this growth and deliver for our members, investing in the talent of our team is critical to the success of the Chamber Network and the business community.

“I am delighted to appoint Charandeep to the post of Deputy Chief Executive where he will bring his utmost dedication and entrepreneurial zeal to supporting the growth of the Scottish business community. This promotion is testament to his contributions, as well as the future growth ambitions of the Chamber Network."

Commenting on his appointment, Charandeep Singh, said:


“This is an exciting new role which I am honoured to take on.  In the midst of political uncertainty and economic challenges, a strong business-led Chamber Network has never been more important. I am absolutely committed to raising the voice of business to decision makers, making sure that business communities in Scotland are thriving.”


Joan McAlpine MSP has raised concerns about the impact of a no deal Brexit on the dairy sector in Dumfries and Galloway after expert trade negotiators told her that incoming tariffs on dairy products would be scrapped if an agreement could not be reached.



The shocking revelations were made to the MSP during a meeting of the parliamentary committee she convenes. The UK government made the decision to drop incoming tariffs in the event of "no deal" without apparent consultation with the industry - tariffs will still apply to Scottish farmers and producers exporting to the EU.

Currently, EU Most Favoured Nation Dairy Tariffs are on average 72.3% for dairy products. In the event of a no deal scenario the UK Government is proposing to drop that to 0% but with no guarantee the EU will reciprocate.

Dmitry Grozoubinski a Former Australian WTO trade negotiator told the Culture Tourism Europe and External Affairs Committee that the decision to drop some tariffs unilaterally, in order to avoid shortages, had come as a surprise and suggested that the UK government had not considered the effect on communities reliant on the jobs provided by the industry.

"It is entirely possible that, without adequate consultation and feed-in, dairy was not deliberately ignored but just never rose up as an issue. “

Joan said after the committee meeting:

“It is deeply concerning that there appears to have been so little consultation by the UK Government. In the event of a no deal Brexit all sectors and nations of the UK will be massively impacted but if, as appears to be the case, the tariffs set by the UK government ignore entire sectors of the economy then this could be even worse than we feared.

“Not only is this deeply concerning as we face the imminent threat of a no deal but it is also deeply worrying for the future. We need to have systems in place that allow all companies, sectors, and the governments of the devolved administration to contribute towards developing trade policy. That is the only way we can develop a trading policy that will work for all sectors of our economy. By unilaterally scrapping the tariffs in advance, the UK government weakens its negotiating position when it tries to make deals in future - it's already given everything away!

“This just emphasise that a no deal Brexit will be disastrous for the dairy sector in the south of Scotland. We need to see both the Conservative and Labour party take the only concrete action possible to remove this threat and support the revocation of article 50.”


Dr Liz Cameron OBE, Director & Chief Executive of the Scottish Chambers of Commerce has been named as the 'Scottish Business' representative to advise the UK Government on strategic trade policy issues, including future trade agreements.



SCC's participation in the group is part of its commitment to raise the voice of Scottish business nationally and internationally and maximise global business and trade opportunities.
The Strategic Trade Advisory Group will be chaired by George Hollingbery MP, Minister for Trade Policy, Department for International Trade.

Commenting on the appointment, Dr Liz Cameron OBE, Director & Chief Executive, Scottish Chambers of Commerce, said:
"I am delighted that Scottish Chambers of Commerce has been appointed to represent the views of the Scottish business community on the UK Government's new Strategic Trade Advisory Group.

"Maximising exporting and international trade opportunities is a priority for Scottish business and will underpin Scotland’s future economic growth for decades to come, as well as creating new jobs and increasing productivity.

"The Scottish Chambers of Commerce Network plays a central role in driving business growth in Scotland's communities and I look forward to actively raising the interests of all businesses across Scotland as we shape the country's future trade policy."



Local Labour MSP Colin Smyth has welcomed the sale of the former Pinneys site on Stapleton Road, Annan but has reiterated his call for a £10 million Economic Action Plan for the town.



The sale of the site to international firm Atlantis Pak is set to be announced in Annan on Monday 18th March. The firm is expected to create jobs at the site. However, it is unlikely that the number of workers employed by Atlantis Pak will match the numbers previously employed by Young’s Seafood.


The Pinneys of Annan factory was owned by Young’s Seafood, but it closed its doors in August last year. Approximately 450 direct posts and hundreds more agency and seasonal posts were also lost as a result of the closure.


Colin Smyth has previously called on the Scottish and UK Governments to be ready to invest up to £10 million in an Economic Action Plan.


Colin Smyth said, “The news that a buyer has been found for the Pinneys factory at long last will be welcomed by the community and the hope will be that the new owners can grow the workforce once more. However, the number of posts being created initially will be a fraction of the jobs lost at Pinneys. There is still an urgent need for the UK and Scottish Government to properly invest in the local economy and that’s why I have renewed my call for a £10 million Economic Action Plan for Annan.


The tragedy of the closure of Pinneys was the fact there simply weren’t enough alternative jobs in the area when the economic tsunami of its closure hit Annan. The closure meant people having to move away or travel long distances to find work. More needs to be done to grow existing businesses and attract new ones to the area so we don’t have to rely so heavily again on a very small number of big employers.”

Jobs boost at Pinneys site is great news for the region, says Joan McAlpine MSP

South Scotland MSP, Joan McAlpine has welcomed news that 120 jobs will be created at the former Pinney's factory in Annan after the Scottish Government found a buyer for the site.



The purchase, by food processing company, Atlantis-Pak, is being made possible thanks to a £1.7 million investment from the Scottish Government.  The company plans to create an initial 120 food processing posts but has indicated there is potential for more.


Commenting, Ms McAlpine says,

"I'm absolutely delighted by today's announcement, it's a fantastic boost for the people of Annan who were left reeling last year when Youngs closed their Pinneys factory. There was hardly a family in the town that wasn't affected by the loss and I was as dismayed as they were when it emerged that Youngs would be creating hundreds of new jobs just weeks later at their factory in Grimsby.

"The news is especially welcome as the region experienced a spate of job losses last year on top of the Pinneys closure. This included Edinburgh Woollen Mill, who moved its head office and 190 jobs from Langholm to Carlisle, and Arla, who transferred 14 cheese packaging jobs from its factory in Lockerbie to Oswestry in Shropshire. 

"Today's announcement is another great example of the Scottish Government supporting jobs and delivering for the people of Dumfries and Galloway. The investment follows news of a dedicated new enterprise agency for the region, a major new tourism campaign, #seesouthscotland and a pledge of £85 million towards the Borderlands project.  Meanwhile the UK Government and David Mundell are spending their time trying to deliver a disasterous brexit deal that will only harm the economy of the region.