By Councillor Susan Aitken, leader of Glasgow City Council and chair of Global Glasgow

GLASGOW is an international city. It always has been. From its status as Second City of the Empire and long history of migration through to the standing of our world-lass universities and cultural and sporting events, an international outlook has long been part of our DNA.

Cities the world over with whom we compete and collaborate are changing. As a city with global aspirations Glasgow must be part of this change. But we also stand on the precipice of profound change. Brexit threatens Glasgow with a potential catastrophe, putting us at considerable economic disadvantage and undermining what is expected of a modern and outward-looking city.

Glasgow must rise above the turbulence of Brexit headwinds and remain in control of our resilience and growth for the well-being of all citizens and communities. Our reputation as a great place to visit, live, work and do business must be enhanced and promoted if Glasgow’s potential is to be properly realised.

In recent days the city council has formally come together with key partners to ensure we help deliver for Glasgow. Reflecting the broad-ranging diversity of our city offer, from university and business leaders, representatives of the arts and science communities, energy giants, broadcasters and our international airport, the Global Glasgow group already comes with existing international networks.

Capturing and aligning this, Global Glasgow can become a gateway for Glasgow and, indeed, Scotland as a whole. In the weeks and months ahead the group will develop its action plan but we have a clearly agreed starting point: now is not the time for Glasgow to fall behind. “Let’s wait and see” is not an option.

We have an encouraging starting position. The City Council, along with partners at the Glasgow Chamber of Commerce and Glasgow Airport, recently commissioned a study by leading urbanist and global advisor Professor Greg Clarke. His findings point to a rejuvenated financial sector, a large professional and skilled talent base supported by a university and college sector which both attract and retain that talent.

We are globally connected, have a reputation in tourism and hospitality excellence and a dynamic and resilient retail market. We are affordable, giving us real appeal among millennials, whilst our creative industries continually demonstrate a capacity for attracting ideas and talent. From sport, arts, culture and nightlife to the unique character of our citizens, the world knows that something is happening in Glasgow.

But we also know we continue to struggle to tell the story of our business brand, dynamic economy and record of innovation, all vital elements of the new Glasgow narrative and attributes with which our global peers are increasingly measured by. We need to know the story we want to tell; create the space to shape and write it; and then tell it together – loudly and often. The Global Glasgow partnership will help write that story.

For our part, the city council is both developing a new international strategy reflecting the changing context in which we now operate and strengthening existing relationships. We are currently at the advanced stages of developing formal partnerships with peer cities and world-leading cities that Glasgow can learn from and collaborate with.

Our partners can build on the soft power of culture and the arts, the success of our innovation eco-systems, the tens of thousands of ambassadors who have passed through our universities and are scattered across the world, and our location as the gateway to Scotland to develop and circulate a new Glasgow story.

Above all, Global Glasgow will strive to ensure that everyone knows that this world-class city remains international, dynamic, open and welcoming.