Belfast Telegraph

All-island economy would be a shot in arm for Northern Ireland: expert

Hazel Ahern-Flynn of Ibec; Alan Bridle, Loretta O’Sullivan and Dale Guest of Bank of Ireland; CBI NI director Angela McGowan; CBI deputy chief economist Anna Leach
Hazel Ahern-Flynn of Ibec; Alan Bridle, Loretta O’Sullivan and Dale Guest of Bank of Ireland; CBI NI director Angela McGowan; CBI deputy chief economist Anna Leach

By Staff Reporter

A successful all-island economy could kickstart Northern Ireland's floundering economy, the director of the CBI in Northern Ireland has claimed.

Angela McGowan was speaking at an economic briefing in Belfast on how the UK and Irish economies are performing against an international outlook.

She said: "Partnership with government is essential and that means restoring power-sharing institutions, but so is capitalising on vital east-west trade links and making the best use of our all-island economy.

"North-south partnership on areas like energy, healthcare and infrastructure isn't just convenient; it can deliver higher growth, less deprivation and more people and communities included and sharing in this island's prosperity."

She said that improvements in the Northern Ireland economy had plateaued and that business needed help to ensure recovery. "The economy has come on leaps and bounds since the dark days of double-digit unemployment in the 1980s, but recently that success has stalled," she added.

"Business has shown that it can be an engine of growth - one that brings jobs, innovation and improved living standards across Northern Ireland - but it can't do it alone."

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She said business had a long list of demands for assistance but that action could be taken in the short-term. "We know that the shopping list from businesses is a lengthy one, from securing a Brexit deal to unblocking Belfast congestion and enhancing our digital skills offer," Ms McGowan said.

"However, there are investments we can make right now.

"It's time for a clear vision for the local economy, one that focuses on economic fundamentals to keep Northern Ireland competitive and unlocks growth across the island of Ireland and between the British-Irish isles."

Belfast Telegraph

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