Thu 28th Jan 2016
True leadership is about service not power says First Minister at NI Chamber/Electric Ireland leadership event
Ann McGregor (NI Chamber), First Minister Arlene Foster MLA and Jim Dollard (Electric Ireland).
First Minister Arlene Foster MLA has delivered a keynote address at the Growing Something Brilliant Leadership event hosted by the Northern Ireland Chamber of Commerce and Industry (NI Chamber) and Electric Ireland earlier this morning.
The event is the first in a series under NI Chamber’s ‘Growing Something Brilliant Leadership Series’ which brings together senior business leaders and influencers from a range of sectors across Northern Ireland.
Addressing over 100 members of the local business community the First Minister set out her vision for the future of Northern Ireland. The First Minister said:
“Every political leader must have a clear vision of what they want to achieve. Leadership is not simply about telling others what to do – it is understanding what needs to be done.
“Growing the Northern Ireland economy remains the number one priority of the Executive. This requires leadership not just from politicians but from everyone with entrepreneurial spirit and business acumen.
“During my time in office, I want to see a Northern Ireland where economic prosperity is achieved and shared right across the Province and where we value people from every background and every walk of life and make them as proud of this country as we are.
“Northern Ireland has become a place where we can celebrate our culture and respect that of others. By working together Government can reform and work for the good of all our people and I will work with everyone to make sure this happens.
“I believe that politics should be a feature of every town and every community and that our elected representatives should get out and meet local people in their own constituencies.
“That is why one of the first suggestions that I made to the deputy First Minister was that before the elections in May, we should take Executive meetings outside Belfast and we have agreed to hold meetings in Fermanagh and Londonderry in the coming weeks.”
First Minister Arlene Foster MLA delivered a keynote address at the Growing Something Brilliant Leadership event hosted by Northern Ireland Chamber of Commerce and Industry (NI Chamber) and Electric Ireland earlier today.
Continuing, the First Minister highlighted how she believes Northern Ireland now stands proud on the world stage: “I am immensely proud of Northern Ireland and I want to do my very best for our people. As First Minister, making our country better for all is not just my duty, it is my privilege.
“True leadership is about service not power and I am particularly proud of the role I played as Economy Minister.
“We have brought more jobs to Northern Ireland than at any time in our history and we have secured the power to set our own rate of Corporation Tax at 12.5% from April 2018. When others would have walked away from corporation tax because it was too big or too complex we stayed the course because the prize is too great.
“We are well renowned across the world for the warm welcome we give to those from abroad. International companies continue to choose Northern Ireland as a venue to grow their business. Those who come to our shores now consider Northern Ireland as home and that fills me with immense pride.
“I am just at the start of my leadership role in this position and will no doubt continue to learn many lessons as I go but I am fully committed to doing all I can to create a better more prosperous Northern Ireland for future generations.
“I believe that together we can achieve a Northern Ireland we can all be proud of.”
Speaking after the event, Ann McGregor, Chief Executive of Northern Ireland Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said:
“It was especially reassuring for the business community to hear that growing the Northern Ireland economy remains the number one priority of the Executive.
“Our members are optimistic about 2016 and the opportunities it brings. Along with the new Department of the Economy, which will bring skills and the economy closer together, a new Programme for Government and an action plan to boost exports, 2016 can provide the foundations required for businesses to grow.
“Knowing the new lower corporation tax rate and date will help to attract new high-end foreign investment and it is good news that the recent budget allocated to Invest NI includes resources for marketing this – whilst continuing to support high value job promotion.”
Now in its third year, NI Chamber’s Growing Something Brilliant campaign has seen three major conferences and seven other events with over 20 inspirational speakers and over 2,000 attendees from Northern Ireland’s top 100 businesses and SMEs, as well as the Northern Ireland Executive.
Ms McGregor concluded: “NI Chamber recognised that showcasing leadership should be an important element of the Growing Something Brilliant campaign because good leadership can dramatically improve team confidence and lead to increased productivity, enhanced performance, and ultimately business growth.
“Today was the first of three events which will feature leaders from other sectors and we are delighted that Northern Ireland’s new First Minister Arlene Foster was with us today to share her story. We wish her well in her new role and look forward to working with her along the way.”
Jim Dollard, Executive Director at Electric Ireland, sponsor of the Growing Something Brilliant Leadership Series, said:
“The Northern Ireland Chamber of Commerce and Industry has been at the forefront of helping businesses develop, evolve and grow. Inspiring programmes such as the Electric Ireland Growing Something Brilliant Leadership Series will play an important role in helping to cultivate our business leaders of the future.
“Electric Ireland, has been in the business electricity market in Northern Ireland for 16 years, and having recently launched our services into the residential marketplace we too have a long term commitment to support economic growth and prosperity. We see our partnership with the Growing Something Brilliant Leadership Series and the support of future local leaders as being an important part of that.”