Skills are the single most important building block for constructing a globally competitive economy for Northern Ireland.
That was the view of Economy Minister Simon Hamilton, in his first major speech since taking up the challenging role a few weeks ago.
Mr Hamilton was speaking at Allstate in Belfast to an audience of around 100 leading local businessmen and women.
The business breakfast was organised by the Northern Ireland Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
Mr Hamilton said: "My number one aim is to transform Northern Ireland into a globally competitive economy.
"I want us to become a breakout nation - a truly emerging economy on the world stage.
"When you speak to inward investors it is immediately obvious that in no small part they come to Northern Ireland - when they could invest their money anywhere - because of the loyalty, talent and the inherent hard work of our people.
"That doesn't mean that drivers like infrastructure or taxation aren't important. They are. But if we consider corporation tax alone, we will not capitalise on the undoubted benefits it will bring if we don't have a suitably skilled labour supply to fill the new jobs that a competitive corporation tax rate will bring."