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Dodds: Building an economy for Northern Ireland’s second century

Northern Ireland is well positioned to grow and succeed as we begin our second century, Economy Minister Diane Dodds has said.

Speaking to mark the centenary of the foundation of Northern Ireland, the Minister highlighted the landmark economic achievements of the past and signalled optimism for the way ahead.

She said:

“As we reflect on the past one hundred years of economic endeavour in Northern Ireland, we can rightly celebrate the remarkable success stories which have made a mark on the global stage.

“From having a reputation as leaders in shipbuilding, rope works and linen mills over the past century, Northern Ireland is now established as a global leader in cyber security, fintech and advanced manufacturing.

“The entrepreneurship and industrial spirit of our past has pivoted into new and exciting areas in which we are fast becoming internationally renowned centres of excellence once again.

“Our film and television industry has seen significant growth in the last decade, with Northern Ireland establishing itself as a prime filming location, not only because of the accessibility, diversity and beauty of our landscape, but also thanks to the skills and talent base we have built.

“And we are as attractive as ever as a location for international companies seeking to locate, invest and flourish.”

The Minister continued:

“The past year has been incredibly challenging for our economy, but even through the worst of times our people have demonstrated resilience, creativity and character. That is why I am optimistic for the future.

“I firmly believe Northern Ireland is well positioned to not only recover economically, but to grow and succeed to a level beyond even those achievements of the past 100 years.

“The centenary provides us with an opportunity to reflect, but more importantly to focus on what will make Northern Ireland successful as we enter our second century. By focussing on our strengths as a small and competitive economy we can create more and better opportunities as we strengthen and enhance the skills and expertise, and the confidence, of people right across our society.

“Officials in my Department have a series of events planned over the course of the centenary year where we can showcase the best of Northern Ireland on the global stage. We will shortly launch our new economic vision for Northern Ireland, and deliver my Economic Recovery Action Plan to help our local economy recover, rebuild and regrow as we move towards normality.”

The Minister concluded:

“This is an exciting time for Northern Ireland, and I look forward to working with people right across the community to build an economy that competes on the global stage, and provides new opportunities for people from all backgrounds at home.”