Belfast Telegraph

Northern Ireland urged to follow Singapore business model

By David Elliot

The economy needs low taxes, a focus on exporting and a confidence boost if it is to flourish, Institute of Directors chairman Mervyn McCall has said.

He called for Northern Ireland to follow the lead of Singapore where legislation encourages entrepreneurship and business growth.

"Imagine what we could achieve if you could start up a business in three days as you can in Singapore, if the planning service gave greater weight to our economic needs and if it was made much simpler to employ people," he said.

Speaking at the IoD's annual dinner in Belfast City Hall last night, he voiced concern that the push to cut corporation tax here was losing momentum.

He said: "When anyone in business, like me, hears that the Government has set up a joint ministerial working group, we tend to raise our eyes to Heaven and groan.

"My message to (Northern Ireland Secretary of State) Owen Paterson is - you've got a job to do and we need you to do what you promised."

And he also called on businesses to help drive the economy by investing more and for banks to facilitate this by lending more.