Posted on Friday 7 February 2014 by Ulster Business
PwC's Paul Terrington told business leaders at last night's Annual Dinner in Belfast that unresolved issues from tax evasion and education reform to civil disturbances and the cost of policing protests have "individually and collectively combined to erode trust and confidence in the institutions of Northern Ireland and our business community."
"I struggle to see how we can build real trust - at home and abroad – as a great place to do business and as a remarkable investment location, without tackling the issues which challenge my view that NI is welcoming, peaceful and progressive.
"Trust and confidence in a new and shared future demands hard choices about dealing with the past", he said. "These are not issues for politicians and government alone, none of us should shirk from the challenge."
Mr Terrington stressed that "the IoD is not a lobby organisation; we have no political agenda" but said that the organisation was aiming to promote "good leadership and governance" to businesses as vital ingredients in driving sustained economic growth.
Picking up his theme of trust he added: "Trust in the Assembly to develop unswerving focus on economic regeneration and social inclusion; trust in community leaders to lead their communities towards tolerance and coexistence and trust that business will develop the confidence to invest in the future.
"If all these elements come together we can rebalance the economy, if only one falters – or fails to step up - we will find the search for economic recovery and social inclusion equally challenging."