Business: View from the Chair - Wake Up for Economic Policy

The News Letter (Belfast, Northern Ireland), August 1, 2000 | Go to article overview

Business: View from the Chair - Wake Up for Economic Policy


NORTHERN Ireland needs to wake up quickly. Behind the comfortable statistics such as falling unemployment lies a very uncomfortable fact - that we do not have an economic policy to underpin our future.

Among others, the Institute of Directors has given evidence to the Assembly's Enterprise Trade and Investment Committee about economic policy and Strategy 2010. But the talking can't go on for ever. There is work to get on with, and we have told the committee that it must start immediately.

Now, of course, we are in the summer recess.

More delay will damage the credibility of 2010 and disillusion all those who contributed to the plan. Worse, it will damage the prospects of attracting new investment and place us at a further disadvantage to our economic competitors.

We can and must implement parts of the strategy as soon as possible. Some sectors, activities and initiatives will deliver faster, cheaper and more certain results than others.

Because of their high growth, high job-creation and sales potential, and their low to medium cost of implementation, the published strategies of the following Sectoral Working Groups should be given priority:

Electronics

Health technologies

Software

Telecommunications

Tourism

We urgently need a detailed budget for all 2010 recommendations so priorities can be set. A similar economic review in the Republic, which began after Strategy 2010 was completed, has been costed and is underway. …

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