SECURING the power to lower corporation tax has the potential to generate 58,000 jobs for Northern Ireland, the deputy First Minister has told a business event in west Belfast.
Martin McGuinness told attendees a rate similar the Republic's (12.5%) would be a "major stimulus" for the economy here, and pressing for the devolution of this from Westminster to Stormont remains a "key priority" for him and First Minister Peter Robinson.
Speaking at a Showcasing The Recovery business breakfast at 26 West in the Kennedy Centre, he said : "The Executive has put the development of the economy at the heart of its Programme for Government.
"Green shoots indicating an improving situation in our economy continue. We have witnessed an improving employment trend, improved consumer confidence and exports to the south of Ireland and Britain have increased.
"We have many small businesses displaying the determination and ambition which will drive the economy as part of our recovery."
He said the Executive was doing all it could to improve the business environment and described small and medium enterprises as "the backbone of the economy"
Marketing director of Hastings Hotels, Julie Hastings, was also a guest speaker.