The University of Strathclyde’s Head of Investment, Dr Poonam Malik, has been announced as Co-chair of a new group established by the Scottish Government to deepen links with the private sector.
Dr Malik will lead the New Deal for Business Group alongside Wellbeing Economy Cabinet Secretary Neil Gray.
Involving businesses at an early stage of policy development will be one of the key aims of the group, which meets for the first time on Wednesday 17 May. It will focus on the key areas of: economic conditions and performance; ensuring Scotland has the best environment to do business, and a transition to a wellbeing economy.
Strathclyde’s Fraser of Allander Institute will be represented in the New Deal for Business Group, along with business leaders and organisations including the Scottish Retail Consortium and the Scottish Tourism Alliance.
Aims of the group include:
- agreeing ways to involve business at the earliest stages of policy development, to ensure it is effective and proportionate
- improving the development and implementation of regulation – such as public health restrictions on advertising and promotions – and properly assessing its impact on particular sectors
- establishing a consultative sub-group to advise on further enhancements to the Non-Domestic Rates system, following the final implementation of the 2017 independent Barclay Review
- demonstrating how business contributes to a wellbeing economy – for example by supporting parents into jobs – and working in partnership with employers to maximise this
- collating and sharing data and evidence across sectors, to dictate the response to emerging opportunities and changes in the business climate.
Dr Malik said: “I look forward to working as part of the New Deal for Business Group to build constructive relationships and push forward a successful and enabling wellbeing economy for Scotland – something I’m passionate about. The establishment of this Group is timely, given external turbulences and big economic challenges, but I believe we can work through these together to make the most of the opportunities of a Just Transition.
“My experience has shown me that improved collaboration and meaningful engagement can bring about positive change in growing economies and support businesses and companies with purpose to have a positive impact on our communities. We will take a refreshed approach to our common vision and shared economic goals to deliver a healthy and happy future with the equitable, diverse and fair society and thriving wellbeing economy that we all aspire to.”
Mr Gray said: “I look forward to working with Dr Malik and other members of the New Deal Group to deepen our relationship with business, not only by engaging and communicating, but actively working together to achieve common goals and align Scottish Government policy with business.
“In the Scottish Government’s Policy Prospectus released on 18 April 2023, the First Minister pledged to help business and trade to thrive and maximise the opportunity of the green economy, with fairness at its heart.
“Only by working closely with business can we hope to achieve an economy which prospers while caring for people and planet. This is our vision for a wellbeing economy.”
Dr Malik, who joined Strathclyde in 2021, has extensive experience in leading and mentoring small businesses as well as working in research, innovation, enterprise, governance, health and business sectors globally. She is a Board Member of Skills Development Scotland, as well as a board Member and Climate Champion for the Scottish Enterprise Board.
Dr Malik is also a member of GlobalScot, an international network of business leaders, providing Scottish companies with critical market insights and highlighting opportunities in Scotland to potential investors and is supporting international businesses for university and the Scottish Ecosystem.
The Scottish Government’s Regulatory Joint Taskforce will take forward actions in relation to regulation.