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A new economic strategy ‘essential’ to rebuild Northern Ireland business in 2021


Northern Ireland CBI director Angela McGowan

Northern Ireland CBI director Angela McGowan

Northern Ireland CBI director Angela McGowan

An overarching economic strategy will be essential for helping to rebuild the Northern Ireland economy in 2021, a leading business group has said.

Angela McGowan, CBI NI director, says company chiefs across Northern Ireland have “probably never faced a more challenging year than 2020”.

“Ultimately an overarching economic strategy with cross-cutting themes will be essential for delivering successful economic outcomes in 2021,” she told Ulster Business.

“For many companies preparations are underway. But for all firms, 2021 will be a year of changing how they do business, how they reach out to customers, how they make the most of AI and machine learning and how they adopt new digital solutions.

“And of course, we cannot forget that on top of these Brexit, Covid and digital-driven adjustments; firms will be transitioning to a low-carbon way of working.” But she says probably the most striking thing for the economy this year will be the scale of adjustment.

“We saw in 2020 the power of good collaboration between the public and private sector in rising to the Covid challenge; hopefully 2021 will also be a year of great collaboration to deliver much needed economic growth.

“Partnerships between national and local government, business and educators will be critical. But success in the year ahead will also be highly dependent on building great business to business networks so that the success of our exemplar large and global players can be replicated across the wider economy.”

Read the full interview in February's edition of Ulster Business

Ulster Business