Tue 1st Mar 2016
NI Chamber hosts Mayor of London Boris Johnson
Over 150 members of the local business community joined Northern Ireland Chamber of Commerce and Industry (NI Chamber) and the Mayor of London Boris Johnson at a reception in Hillsborough Castle yesterday evening.
The event, in partnership with Wrightbus, followed the earlier announcement that an additional order for 195 Routemasters for London worth £62m has been confirmed at the County Antrim firm.
Speaking at the event, Stephen McCully, President of NI Chamber, said: “I would like to congratulate Mark Nodder and the team at the Wright Group on this tremendous announcement today. We are delighted to see one of our biggest manufacturing firms securing yet another important contract with Transport for London. It really is great news for the local economy.”
Mr McCully continued: “It would be wrong of me not to mention some of the hard knocks that the local economy has experienced over the last few months with job losses announced at Michelin, JTI Gallaher, Bombardier, Caterpillar and others. The scale of our manufacturing sector before these losses was already small at 14% of GVA as compared to that of say RoI which is at 23%. So this must be another area of strategic importance for the Department of the Economy going forward. Strengthening the competitiveness of the local economy should be central to rebuilding a stronger manufacturing sector.”
Commenting on a possible Brexit, Mr McCully said: “What I am hearing from members is a real concern about the uncertainty that this referendum is creating. There are also concerns about connections and the continuity of trade into important markets. If I can use this analogy. Economically, Northern Ireland is firmly on the bus embarking on a journey of real promise in respect of economic recovery and growth.
“But there are extreme risks looming in the contemplation of having to possibly hop on to a different bus because the destination is far from certain.”
The Mayor’s address to the audience can be viewed below:
The Secretary of State also shared her thoughts around a possible Brexit with NI Chamber:
Stephen McCully, NI Chamber President addresses guests at the reception at Hillsborough Castler with Boris Johnson, Mayor of London:
Full address by Boris Johnson, Mayor of London
NI Chamber Members and Guests, VIP Business Reception, Hillsborough, 29 February 2016
Photos from the event are online at: