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Scottish first minister Alex Salmond to sell his vision to the North  

Credit:  by Adrian Pearson, The Journal | Oct 20 2012 | www.journallive.co.uk ~~

Alex Salmond is to set out why the North East has a friend in Scotland when he addresses an annual dinner.

The Scottish first minister is due to speak at the North East Economic Forum’s annual dinner to be held next month.

The problems and opportunities for the region in Scottish independence has already begun to dominate political debate in the region. In 2014 Scotland will hold a referendum, with some warning an independent Scotland could prove to be a jobs threat to the North East.

Already online book seller Amazon and wind turbine firm Gamesa have snubbed the North East and opted for Scotland, with some speculating the decisions were made in expectation of Scotland enjoying the power to lower corporate tax rates in the future.

Mr Salmond though is likely to spell out how the North East and Scotland can work together in areas such as offshore energy jobs.

Mr Salmond will be discussing the regional implications and potential benefits of Scottish independence for the North East of England when he addresses more than 200 key regional businesses and politicians at the dinner to be held at the Gosforth Park Hotel on November 13.

The First Minister’s visit follows on from the successful North East Economic Forum conference in March at which the Scottish Government’s External Affairs Minister, Fiona Hyslop addressed conference delegates. When Ms Hyslop spoke in March this year she warned the region would have to decide whether it wanted Scotland as a partner or a major economic competitor in the years ahead.

She said that she saw many ways in which independence was not a problem for the region, but acknowledged that if the North East did not work with Scotland it could lose out further.

The Forum is a non-partisan, not-for- profit organisation that provides an opportunity for key decision-makers to meet to discuss the future of the North East economy.

Its previous events and annual conference have seen some of the biggest names in the UK set out their case for the region.

Those speaking previously include prime ministers Tony Blair and Gordon Brown as well as appearances by David Cameron and George Osborne.

Hugh Morgan Williams, chair of the NEEF board of directors said: “I am delighted that the Scottish First Minister will be addressing our annual dinner.

“Last year we hosted Eric Pickles, the Communities and Local Government Secretary of State, this year we have Alex Salmond, which demonstrates how NEEF is able to provide an invaluable platform for visiting senior politicians.”

Source:  by Adrian Pearson, The Journal | Oct 20 2012 | www.journallive.co.uk

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

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