Belfast Telegraph

NI Chamber of Commerce’s Champions Dinner 2016 at Belfast's Waterfront Hall [Photos]

NI Chamber call for confidence not prejudice in Programme for Government

The President of Northern Ireland Chamber of Commerce and Industry has called on the Stormont Executive to formulate a programme for government which is “confident” and not encumbered by political “prejudice.”

Stephen McCully made the call as he addressed attendees at NI Chamber’s Champions Dinner at the newly extended Waterfront Hall in Belfast.

It was the first external event to be held at the transformed venue and the largest event to be held by NI Chamber in its 233 year history with a sell-out business audience of over 900 people.

Mr McCully said: “NI Chamber advocates a much more confident Programme for Government, one that favours strength of ambition in finding solutions and is not hindered by political cautiousness or prejudice.

“NI Chamber members stand by, ready to assist, in any way they can to support a Programme for Government that helps grow the business sector, that puts jobs, pride and dignity into our communities. That provides diversity of opportunities for a highly educated and skilled workforce. That delivers timely world class infrastructure, and better more efficient public services.”

Mr McCully said that the business organisation has always endeavoured to encourage Northern Ireland’s elected representatives and Government in a practical and progressive way.

He added: “We have actively attempted to change the narrative and to promote a more positive and ambitious message about Northern Ireland businesses and the prospect for increased growth and economic prosperity.

“It is clear that businesses in Northern Ireland want to see more positive momentum, they want an economy that they can be really proud of – generating more success stories, more winners and more champions.”

Billed as a celebration of champions in business and sport in Northern Ireland, guest speaker at the event was Irish Rugby legend Paul O’Connell, the now retired rugby player who captained the British and Irish Lions, Ireland and Munster winning three 6 Nations including a Grand Slam, two European Cups, and three Celtic Leagues.

Also speaking at the event was Peter Russell, General Manager of BT Business in Northern Ireland. Speaking at the event Mr Russell said:

“BT has been involved with the Northern Ireland Chamber of Commerce and Industry as their official communications partner for almost a decade and we are committed to supporting the Chamber’s key priorities in representing the interests of the business community here in Northern Ireland.

“The Champions Dinner is a wonderful celebration of business and sporting excellence and an opportunity for us all to reflect on the numerous successes we have shared. At BT we are looking forward to the challenges and opportunities to drive economic growth that lie ahead in what is a rapidly changing business environment.”

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