CONTINUED investment in our infrastructure is critical to a strong business environment and to facilitate growth.

Our success is dependent on the public and private sectors working even more closely together, sharing strategic priorities, helping unlock finance and creating confidence among stakeholders.

In Edinburgh and across Scotland, growing levels of confidence from investors is unlocking infrastructure projects, creating jobs in the construction sector and ensuring we maintain and improve opportunities for businesses.

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Strong relationships between local government and the private sector are essential to ensure an effective planning process while respecting stakeholders. At Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce, our property and infrastructure membership groups help to facilitate that process. However, our influence and engagement is also at a UK level and includes improving airport capacity in the south-east and providing a perspective on High Speed Rail, all of which are essential for the Scottish economy.

In addition to vital recruitment opportunities and investment in training and development, we must ensure local businesses are given as fair a chance as possible in the procurement process and that quality and not just price is taken into account when contracts are awarded.

The pressure on our capital city continues to intensify on maintaining a world-class location to visit and a leading city for major employers. Improvements in our infrastructure are essential. Edinburgh attracts investment from all parts of the globe and the partnerships between local government and the private sector are delivering strong results. This includes investment in our commercial office space, improved quality retail space and the exciting developments supporting growth in tourism and education.

The transport sector has already paved the way, covering all aspects of transport. While the trams have attracted much attention, the capital city has experienced unprecedented levels of investment in our rail infrastructure, airport and roads network. Effective and efficient transport connectivity is essential including our ports and improved links between our cities. Whilst the list is never ending and finance limited, the momentum we have created must continue. It is the responsibility of all businesses to lobby for new developments, to work even more closely together, and to promote success.

David Birrell is chief executive of Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce