One of the great missed tricks of devolved Scotland is its failure to turn a well-networked, small country with world-beating levels of technical education into a self-conscious leader in the commercial exploitation of IT.
E-commerce, so far all-but ignored in the export-boosting rhetoric of politicians, SDI, the Chambers of Commerce et al, is a classic example. By showing the extent to which Scotland is a backwater, Scottish Enterprise has performed a valuable service. The sheer patchiness of e-commerce success and support in Scotland is all the less accountable, given that it is a platform that nullifies Scotland's traditional disadvantages as a well dispersed population on the furthest edge of Europe. In the world of global e-commerce, people can run nifty global businesses from loch side bothies. In fact the gratifyingly strong brand values of Scotland and of Britain can be a powerful point of distinction in a flattened global market.
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