Mon 20th Feb 2017
January 2017: Northern Ireland’s Industrial Strategy
Northern Ireland’s Industrial Strategy and that of the UK’s Government’s, which were unveiled last week, represent a crucial milestone in a renewed partnership between business and government with both working together to create the conditions for future growth.
Northern Ireland’s Strategy, named ‘Economy 2030’, was published just one day after Prime Minister Theresa May unveiled the UK Government’s Industrial Strategy which has at its core harnessing the potential of cities, towns and counties and ensuring the success of dynamic business communities in every corner of the UK in order to make the country more competitive and more prosperous.
The Northern Ireland Chamber of Commerce and Industry will seek to work positively with the Secretary of State James Brokenshire to ensure that our region benefits as fully as possible from ‘Economy 2030’.
While we do have specific issues locally around low productivity and the widening wage differential, there is much potential for the local economy to grow.
Whatever policy or strategic steps the UK Government puts in place can be effective across the regions including Northern Ireland but we will be in a much stronger position when our Government is in place again and functioning effectively.
From a local perspective, ‘Economy 2030’ is an ambitious publication and sets out a pathway to the region becoming as successful and significant an economic territory as the Republic of Ireland or Denmark. The draft strategy is built on 5 pillars: Accelerating Innovation and Research; Enhancing Education, Skills and Employability; Driving Inclusive, Sustainable Growth; Succeeding in Global Markets; and Building the Best Economic Infrastructure.
Economy Minister Simon Hamilton stated:
“Economy 2030 is an ambitious, long-term vision to transform Northern Ireland into a globally competitive economy that works for everyone.”
Indeed the strategy is a positive one which has the potential to set Northern Ireland on a very ambitious path to long term economic prosperity which benefits all in society.
Even in a period of political uncertainty, it is important that economic and industrial policies are informed by the private sector. This is a draft strategy which is now open for consultation and NI Chamber will respond on behalf of our members. When the political crisis passes, and it will inevitably pass in time, we will still have the need to grow our economy. We now have a roadmap and we have to regard that as a good starting point.