Nosheena Mobarik OBE
M Computer Technologies joint chief executive; chair, CBI Scotland
Scotland is one of the most diverse and interesting business environments in the UK.
From whisky to computer games, tourism to green energy, Scottish businesses are world-renowned for the excellent products and services they provide and the intellectual property they produce.
But despite our past successes and future potential, times are just as challenging for Scottish firms as they are for those across the rest of the UK, and our growth is just as fragile.
That is why the role of CBI Scotland in championing Scottish business interests has never been more important: our voice ensures that those firms that will lead us back to economic prosperity are being heard by decision-makers both in London and Edinburgh.
If there is one thing that will set Scotland's recovery apart from the rest of the UK, however, it is that our return to growth is taking place against a backdrop of on-going constitutional reform.
The Scotland Act will make radical changes to Scotland's devolved settlement and introduce new Income Tax powers to the Scottish Government and Parliament together with devolved powers over Stamp Duty Land Tax and Landfill Tax. We are currently working with the UK and Scottish Governments to ensure that these new taxes are implemented in a way that helps business and Scotland's economy.
Undoubtedly the prospects of a difficult growth period and constitutional change will bring challenges for the business community, but we should always bear in mind that they will also bring opportunities, and CBI Scotland remains as well-placed as ever to help businesses realise their potential and emerge from the next few years stronger, leaner and more innovative than ever before.