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Commenting on the news that Scottish Manufactured Exports fell by 2% in the fourth quarter of 2007, Liz Cameron, Chief Executive of Scottish Chambers of Commerce, has called on the UK Government to cut fuel duty. Liz Cameron said:

“This is the second consecutive quarter in which our manufactured exports have fallen, and should act as a wake up call for the Governments at both Westminster and Holyrood on the current state of Scottish economy. Whilst annual export growth in 2007 remains at a healthy level, the signals for the current year are not good, and government must seek to do all it can to ease the pressures on Scottish businesses.

“The Scottish Government’s Business Rate cuts, which were introduced this week, are a step in the right direction, but much more needs to be done to bolster our manufacturers at a time of global economic uncertainty. Against this background, the decisions of the current Chancellor of the Exchequer and his predecessor to raise Capital Gains Tax rates and the Small Companies Rate of Corporation Tax respectively seem bizarre.

“This warning sign for the Scottish economy must be heeded. There is ample opportunity for government to help create a more competitive environment in which our businesses can be freed to lead the way in the international marketplace. One of the ways in which it can help is by reducing the burden of fuel tax on our economy by lowering fuel duty at a time when Scottish businesses are facing unprecedented high transportation costs.”