Posted on Thursday 28 January 2016 by Ulster Business

Foster puts economy first

Ann McGregor (NI Chamber); First Minister Arlene Foster MLA and Jim Dollard (Electric Ireland) pictured at the Growing Something Brilliant Leadership event hosted by the Northern Ireland Chamber of Commerce and Industry (NI Chamber) and Electric Ireland.

The new First Minister has pledged to make growing the Northern Ireland economy the Executive’s number one priority.

And in an effort to make sure that focus isn’t just on Belfast, Arlene Foster has revealed she is taking future Executive meetings outside Stormont to both Enniskillen and Londonderry, the respective hometowns of her and the Deputy First Minister.

The minister, speaking at a Northern Ireland Chamber of Commerce and Industry event, issued a rallying call to “everyone with entrepreneurial spirit and business acumen” to join politicians in showing leadership to boost economic output here.

“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,” she said.

“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.”

The minister said she would hold the “next few” Executive meetings in Enniskillen and Derry and set out her stall for her time in office.

“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.

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