Mon 23rd Jan 2017
NI Chamber comments on Industrial Strategy
The Prime Minister today (23 January 2017) set out plans for a modern UK Industrial Strategy. The objective of the strategy is “to improve living standards and economic growth by increasing productivity and driving growth across the whole country.”
Commenting on the Green Paper, Ann McGregor, Chief Executive of Northern Ireland Chamber of Commerce and Industry (NI Chamber), said:
“Northern Ireland Chamber of Commerce and Industry particularly welcomes the strategy’s commitment to engaging with local stakeholders. The chamber network has engaged extensively with the Department of Business for a strong emphasis on place, rather than a purely sectoral based approach. By doing so, it allows the government to take advantage of the differences and unique strengths that exist across the country.
“We now look forward to engaging with the Secretary of State James Brokenshire to ensure Northern Ireland benefits fully from the strategy. This includes the Government’s proposal to establish Ministerial Forums with each of the Devolved Administrations to consider how the Industrial Strategy can best address key productivity barriers.
“Low productivity has been a persistent feature of the Northern Ireland economy, with Output (GVA) per hour worked in Northern Ireland remaining the lowest of the twelve UK regions, lagging 19% behind the UK average. The gap has been persistent and widening for many years despite being the target of a number of economic strategies.
“We hope that Northern Ireland’s new Economic Strategy, which must be a key priority for the next NI Executive, can work alongside the Industrial Strategy to address this issue.”