BUSINESS groups have called for a concerted effort from policymakers and business leaders to ensure Scotland's economy improves during 2013.

The Institute of Directors (IoD) Scotland believes there needs to be a focus on a "wealth creation agenda" and called for politicians not to get sidetracked over debates on the country's constitutional future.

Meanwhile, the Scottish Council for Development and Industry (SCDI) believes issues such as high speed rail, aviation and trading priorities with European neighbours must remain high up the agenda.

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David Watt, executive director of IoD Scotland, said: "Many of our business leaders have been steering through choppy waters for some time. They realise that strong leadership and direction is what is required to survive the storm.

"In Scotland in particular we must focus on the wealth creation agenda and re-build what used to be the world's most innovative and entrepreneurial nation.

"The current obsession with our future governance is understandable but not helpful. Right now we have more immediate challenges to face and an economy to build."

Professor Lesley Sawers, chief executive of SCDI, hopes the coming 12 months will see civic, business and political leaders come together to develop a long term and sustainable strategy for economic growth.

She added: "Delivering this ambition requires two crucial actions. The first is to ensure that economic growth remains the top priority of Scotland's leaders and policymakers, driven forward across all decision-making at a local, regional and national level.

"The second essential action is for Scotland to come together to achieve economic growth.

"This requires all parties in all parliaments to work in collaboration and partnership with business and civic Scotland to develop and implement a wide ranging action plan for growth – building our exports, raising our skills levels, creating world-leading innovations and tackling youth unemployment."