An economic development expert has called on Diane Dodds to "consider her position", claiming her opposition to the Northern Ireland Protocol conflicts with her civil servants' promotion of its benefits.
The Department for the Economy said she would be remaining in her post, with Mrs Dodds insisting her priority was resolving issues around trade with Britain.
Invest NI, which comes under the Economy Minister's remit, has published details on its website about Northern Ireland's new position under the protocol, and why it makes us an attractive location.
Unionist parties are against the protocol on the basis that it erodes links to Britain and has erected trade barriers.
But John McGowan, chief executive of Enterprise North West, claimed we have never before been in such a strong economic position.
During a period when he worked to attract investment from the US, he said our higher rate of corporation tax compared to the Republic had been a recurring disadvantage.
He added: "Now, with this competitive advantage, I am shocked we are not at it full tilt.
"There are opportunities falling off the page.
"It really gets to the point where if Diane Dodds isn't going to lead on this, as politically she's against it, she probably should consider her position as a minister."
Mark O'Connell, head of economic advisory firm OCO Global, said it had received enquiries from two US manufacturers with operations in the UK interested in setting up here. German manufacturers are also looking at us as an investment location.
OCO Global advises the Department for International Trade on making the UK an attractive location for investment, but he said politics here were sensitive.
Mr O'Connell added: "The department is naturally keen to showcase the diversity and capabilities of all parts of the UK, and especially the new NI proposition for continued European market access from a UK base thanks to the border in the Irish Sea.
"However, the department is equally sensitive to the challenges that may come from other devolved administrations and the risk of upsetting some of our local politicians, who reject the notion of a special status... even if it is highly attractive economically and could deliver a significant bounty of high value jobs and investment in a region that genuinely needs it."
He said First Minister Arlene Foster had campaigned extensively for a cut to corporation tax while Enterprise Minister, which he said would have created a similar difference in status to that given in the protocol.
Last night Mrs Dodds said resolving issues around trade with Britain was her priority.
She added: "This is our largest market. In 2018 sales of goods and services from Northern Ireland to GB totalled £10.6bn and made up 49% of all external sales. In the same year NI companies purchased goods and services from GB worth £13.4bn.
"There are real challenges for businesses at present, and I make no apology for seeking to resolve these."
She said the department's officials also worked to help business to increase external sales more generally.
"However, we must recognise that exports rely on inputs. Overwhelmingly our businesses, no matter where they sell to, rely on purchases from GB," she said.
She insisted there was no difference of approach on the protocol between the department and Invest NI, adding: "The job of Invest NI is to attract investment and help indigenous companies grow their external sales... of course, Invest NI is also continuing to help local businesses work through the challenges as a result of the protocol or EU exit more generally."
Yesterday Mrs Foster said she was "disappointed" at what she said was the small number of unionists representing civic society in a meeting with European Commission vice-president Maros Sefcovic.
Finance Minister Conor Murphy said it was "very important" that the EU showed it was prepared to listen.