Belfast Telegraph

Warning of a 'them and us' divide between public and private sector

By Clare Weir

A "them and us" mentality between public and private sectors is not healthy, a major debate on the Northern Ireland economy has heard.

Some 300 business leaders gathered at Riddel Hall at Queen's University for the event, Going For Growth: Time For Radical Change, chaired by BBC business editor Jim Fitzpatrick.

Northern Bank chief economist Angela McGowan stressed that a 'them and us' attitude between the sectors is not healthy. She suggested that there is a definite role for more public private partnerships which can deliver increased speed, abilities and efficiencies.

Ms McGowan also called for more innovation in the education system at primary school level.

Other speakers included Tracy Meharg, head of innovation at Invest Northern Ireland and Ian Coulter, managing partner at Tughans Solicitors and incoming chairman-elect of the CBI in Northern Ireland.

Ciaran Sheehan of Clarendon Executive, which co-hosted the event with Queen's Chief Executive's Club, said: "The fact that almost 300 business leaders attended the event demonstrates a very clear desire among the business community in Northern Ireland for decisive, strategic action to grow the local economy."