Thu 1st Sep 2016
Finance Minister addresses business audience on impact of Brexit
Finance Minister Máirtín Ó Muilleoir addressed members of the local business community at a ‘Minister on the Move’ event held by Northern Ireland Chamber of Commerce and Industry (NI Chamber) and SSE Airtricity earlier today (1 September 2016).
The ‘Minister on the Move’ initiative provides businesses with the chance to speak directly with NI Assembly Ministers at a number of locations across the province. Speaking at today’s event, held at the Lurgan operation of giant US-owned Interface, Finance Minister Máirtín Ó Muilleoir said: “I am pleased to have the opportunity to engage with business people and to exchange views on the issues impacting on our local businesses and our economy. We all share a common goal – we want to grow investment, create jobs and deliver prosperity and our business community is central to achieving that.
“The referendum result undoubtedly creates challenges for our economy. I share the concern amongst the business community about the uncertainty facing us and the desire to urgently seek stability, clarity and action around this.”
Also speaking at the event was Nick Coburn, President of NI Chamber, who said: “Northern Ireland Chamber of Commerce and Industry believes that our own political leaders have a crucial role to play in securing the best possible outcome for our local businesses. That means moving on from the different position the parties took into the referendum campaign and putting NI plc at the centre of the post Brexit political dispensation.
“Above all Northern Ireland businesses need information on what is happening at the moment and what is likely to happen in the future, both in terms of how the new relationship will be formed but also in regard to the logistics of the discussions. The private sector locally will want a say and an assurance that their voice will be heard. That can only come from our own political representatives and we are ready to work with them to protect the interests of Northern Ireland as far and as long as possible.”
In addition to receiving a departmental update from the Minister, attendees also heard the growth story of carpet tile manufacturer Interface and embarked on a tour of its facilities. Adrian Marks, Site Manager at Interface commented: “Interface is very pleased to host this event, and to welcome the Minister to our Lurgan facility. Events such as todays create a forum for the open exchange of views leading to a better understanding of the importance of public policy and the economic environment in which we operate. We all have the shared aim of growing the Northern Ireland economy and an initiative such as this one allows us to keep in regular contact along the way.”
Caption: (L-R) Andrew Greer (SSE Airtricity); Finance Minister Máirtín Ó Muilleoir; Adrian Marks (Interface) and Nick Coburn (NI Chamber).