What's wrong with Scottish firms? Local sourcing in electronics

James McCalman

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    Given the importance of the electronics industry in Scotland this article sets out
    to analyse one of the presumed benefits of attracting foreign electronics firms to set up manufacturing facilities other than the direct employment effects. It deals with the sourcing of material inputs by foreign firms in the Scottish economy in an attempt to determine the level of material inputs purchased from indigenous electronics suppliers. The electronics industry in Scotland has for several years been actively promoted by government agencies and the press as one of the major industrial success stories during a period of industrial stagnation and decline in the more traditional manufacturing areas of the Scottish economy. The concept of "Silicon Glen" is an attractive one which
    views Scotland as being at the forefront of electronics manufacture providing high levels of employment leading to further attraction of inward investment. The electronics industry in Scotland in 1985 employed 43,900 people in more than 300 companies (22% under foreign ownership, 42% English and 36% Scottish). However, previous research has shown that the largest employers and fastest growing firms are externally owned, and that their attraction to Scotland was heavily influenced by regional incentive schemes.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)62-69
    Number of pages8
    JournalQuarterly Economic Commentary
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - Feb 1987


    • Scottish industry
    • Scottish business activity
    • Scottish economy
    • electronics industry
    • economic development strategies
    • Silicon Glen


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