UQ People

Upper Quartile's partners are all experienced business professionals with backgrounds at senior level in both the public and private sectors at home and abroad.

Andrew Thorburn


Andrew Thorburn

Andrew Thorburn is a vastly experienced export and investment promotion adviser who has nearly 35 years senior management experience both in the private sector (as an entrepreneur and senior manager) and public sector (notably as a strategic adviser to investment and export development agencies). He has nearly 20 years specific experience in investment promotion, trade promotion and regional economic development fields, and is an acknowledged expert in developing intra- and cross-sectoral market linkages, and export promotion and in enhancing the capacity of support organisations. He has a strong focus on working to create effective links between national and regional bodies, and public and private sectors.


Mr Thorburn has provided high level advice to the Rwanda Investment and Export Promotion Agency on business strategy and organisation. Elsewhere in the East African Community, he has advised the Uganda Investment Agency on strategic and operational issues and worked with the Tanzanian Investment Centre to build its institutional capacity and internal systems. In Central and Eastern Europe he helped set up investment promotion agencies, developed business plans and HR development strategies. His ability to formulate high level strategy is augmented by practical skills in building promotional materials and the use of these in coordinated direct marketing campaigns including brochures, web sites, mailings, advertising and public relations exercises.

Mr Thorburn has a strong background in the research and analysis of business environments and industrial sectors/clusters. He therefore has the full range of skills to design, develop and implement business support programmes covering clusters, exporting, competitiveness and supplier linkages. He has worked with businesses of all sizes and across many sectors. He has particular expertise in promoting business clusters in order to integrate SMEs into broader supply chains and introduce them to the export sector. He has also successfully designed and implemented initiatives to attract large scale investment.

In addition to his work on business strategy and institutional development, Andrew Thorburn is an expert in the development and implementation of investment and export development policies. He has presented policy briefs and proposals to ministers and senior civil servants in many countries.

Prior to embarking on his international career, Mr Thorburn was Director of Business Development at Scottish Enterprise, a highly successful inward investment agency, where his clients included many of Scotland’s Asian and US investors.

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