THE chief executive of Forth Ports has hailed measures to help the oil and gas industry and the duty cut on Scotch whisky as actions which could boost the business he heads in the coming months.

Charles Hammond was also pleased to note UK GDP is forecast to continue to grow steadily.

He said: "From the point of view of our business ports have a linkage with GDP so higher GDP growth is always to be welcomed."

Mr Hammond believes the changes to taxation in the North Sea should help to support the oil and gas industry at a time when oil prices are low.

He said: "If you look at our ports in Leith and Dundee [they] have a number of customers who are servicing rigs and who are working for operators of these rigs. These tax rates will benefit and stimulate the operators of existing fields.

"Also simplifying the investment allowance and providing some level of incentive for exploration or what they call seismic activity is to be welcomed and hopefully that will be built on further. It is important that Scotland has a climate for doing business that is as good as Norway so that drilling activity comes to Scotland."

The historic Scotch whisky duty cut, the first in two decades, was also welcomed by Mr Hammond.

He said: "We do a lot of whisky exports through the ports so it is nice to see a climate to encourage more of that."

Mr Hammond indicated he was hopeful more Scottish cities may look into City Deals, where money can be borrowed from the Treasury to help fund major infrastructure.

He said: "Creating a climate that encourages investment is what we would look for from government.

"We would hope that some of the cities where we operate ports can take forward City Deals. anything that helps them to generate activity and infrastructure will benefit the ports we operate as well.

"I think that is good for economic activity in Scotland as the major driver of that are going to be the cities."

Mr Hammond suggested that increases in personal tax allowances would be appreciated by workers.

He said: "Anything that improves the spending power of the people who work for us is again to be welcomed."

Forth Ports runs facilities in Dundee, the Leith area of Edinburgh, Grangemouth, Rosyth and Tilbury near London.