ETI Committee Looks to the Future

Session: 2009/2010

Date: 08 October 2009

Reference: ETI 01/09/10

New structures and policies which can drive the local economy forward must be implemented. That’s the message from the Northern Ireland Assembly’s Committee for Enterprise, Trade and Investment which examined the key issues of the Independent Review on Economic Policy (IREP).

Alban Maginness MLA, Chair of the ETI Committee said: “It is imperative that Northern Ireland can compete on the world stage. It is heartening to note the number of jobs that have been created by Invest NI but it is clear from the report that there remains a serious gap in productivity between Northern Ireland and the UK as a whole. This issue needs to be addressed.

“It is clear that the standard of living in Northern Ireland is lower than the UK average, indicating that the jobs that Northern Ireland is attracting are not the high value jobs which will help us to expand our economy and meet future challenges.”

The report focussed on the work of Invest NI and made a number of far-reaching recommendations for improvements in its services.

Mr Maginness continued: “In particular, the Review’s findings on Invest NI are of concern. At a time when the world economy is still struggling, the mechanisms for supporting business and fostering development must be effective.

“It was interesting to learn how a focus on research and development and on innovation has been a key driver of economic success in other countries. The Committee is very keen to ensure that the mechanisms are in place to enable Invest NI can do its job properly as this will ultimately benefit us all.”