Belfast Telegraph

Business chiefs to put 10-year economic plan to PM

Prime Minister Boris Johnson
Prime Minister Boris Johnson
Margaret Canning

By Margaret Canning

Local business leaders have vowed to break the cycle of weak economic growth in Northern Ireland ahead of a major reception with the Prime Minister at Downing Street.

People on the trip want to see economic growth of between 3% and 5% - it has been predicted that economic growth for this year will be around 1%.

Trade NI, made up of Hospitality Ulster, Manufacturing NI and Retail NI, today leads the biggest-ever delegation of businesspeople from here to visit Downing Street.

The group will host a business reception at Westminster for around 350 guests, which will be addressed Secretary of State Julian Smith.

Trade NI will also launch a 10-year plan, Vision 2030, and attend a reception hosted by Prime Minister Boris Johnson at Downing Street this evening.

Yesterday, Northern Ireland FSB regional chair Tina McKenzie met the Prime Minister and Business Secretary Andrea Leadsom at a Downing Street reception for FSB members.

Ms McKenzie said: "The meeting was frank and productive focusing on the domestic issues which affect small businesses, such as infrastructure, planning and late payments.

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"It was encouraging that the Prime Minister and Business Secretary discussed support for small businesses to grow by using fiscal incentives.

"I took the opportunity to reiterate support for devolving corporation tax to Northern Ireland and reducing the rate to increase our competitiveness."

Adding a orderly Brexit from the EU was crucial, Ms McKenzie said: "It was welcome to hear the Prime Minister commit to achieving a Brexit deal so we can end this ongoing uncertainty and begin to focus on how we grow our economy for the benefit of everyone."

Meanwhile, Trade NI said its Vision 2030 document contained a "transformative" economic plan which could create 65,000 jobs. It calls on an incoming Executive to come up with a clear economic strategy for Northern Ireland and to reduce the regulatory burden on businesses.

Belfast Telegraph