GLASGOW and Edinburgh need to work together to compete on an international economic stage according to the boss of Scottish Enterprise.

Historically Glasgow was seen as the big industrial city with shipbuilding, engineering and manufacturing employing tens of thousands, while Edinburgh was a centre or finance, with banking headquarters and insurance firms bringing wealth into the capital.

In the post industrial age however, the countries two biggest cities have been competing for service sector and new electronic manufacturing, digital economy jobs.

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It is now being argued the separation of the international effort to persuade foreign and multinational decision makers to locate in one of our big cities has not been successful in the face of competition from global cities like Beijing, London and Paris.

Steve Dunlop took over last year as chief executive of Scottish Enterprise, the government’s economic development organisation and said he is changing how it operates with an international focus.

Speaking at a Glasgow Chamber of Commerce Glasgow Talks event, he said bringing in international investment is crucial for Scotland’s success and regional partnerships and bigger Scotland wide co-operation is necessary.

He said: “I don’t like seeing the competition between places.

“We are tiny as a nation. When you go to other countries and se what people think of us and compare what we have to offer.

In order to compete we need to collaborate. Glasgow is not far from Edinburgh, Dundee even Aberdeen.”

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He said at major trade conferences there were Glasgow stands, Edinburgh stands and Aberdeen stands all promoting their city.

Mr Dunlop said we should be adding them all together into one big offering.

He said: “We need more integration, more cohesion. When Edinburgh does well, Glasgow will do well.”

Mr Dunlop has experience of working in Glasgow having previously been Chief Executive of Scottish Canals and oversaw plans for the regeneration of the Forth and Clyde Canal and surrounding communities in the north of Glasgow.

He wants a bigger profile projected of what Glasgow has to offer.

He said: “I do a lot of work in the city and I see it from within and from an outside perspective.

“I think not many people outwith now know the riches in Glasgow and what’s going on. I think Glasgow is ambitious but people don’t know about it.”

He said a skilled workforce is at the heart of attracting major firms to the city.

Scottish Enterprise with the council were involved in the Tradeston development, where Barclays will be the main name, to transform the south bank of the Clyde.

He said: “We had to do what we do with incentives but he number one package we could offer was access to skills and talent.”

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He said Barclays and Glasgow University were the “strategic anchors” of the new Tradeston development.

Mr Dunlop added: “These places will not look the same in five or ten years from now.”

He said business thinking was changing and big international firms were not looking at the same places in big global cities and Glasgow can benefit from that.

Scottish Enterprise is responsible for allocating investment support and incentives for businesses to help then set up or grow in Scotland.

He said that there is likely to be a change in how support is offered to firms.

Mr Dunlop said: “With public finances under strain the free money, the grant money, will shrivel.

“The investment money the loans is where there will be money.”