Dissolution of the NIABT – Update

At its meeting on 13th November 2017 the Board of Trustees agreed a proposal that the NIABT be dissolved, with the membership voting to dissolve the Trust at the AGM on 13th December 2017. This decision was agreed in the context that the Northern Ireland Assembly is committed to developing a new programme of work to engage business. At subsequent Board Meetings, Board Members discussed options for the disbursement of NIABT funds and unanimously voted that any decision of how the funds should be disbursed would be put on hold until the political situation is clearer. Given the resumption of the Assembly the Board will meet on 22nd January 2020 to further this discussion.

During this time the Northern Ireland Assembly has been developing its Corporate Plan which contains reference to the establishment of the Northern Ireland Assembly Business Network. Work on its development will continue in tandem with the dissolution of the Trust, ensuring continuity of the relationship between business and the Assembly established by the NIABT.

Dissolution of the NIABT

The NIABT Board of Trustees held a strategic planning day in June 2016 to discuss the ongoing work and future goals of the NIABT. One outcome from the planning day was to review the efficiency of the work being undertaken by the Trust with a view to increasing its impact on members as well as the wider business community in Northern Ireland.

Following the review, reform proposals were presented to the NIABT Board outlining how the Trust’s aims and objectives could be better served and better delivered.

At its meeting on 13th November 2017 the Board of Trustees agreed a proposal that the NIABT be dissolved, with the membership voting to dissolve the Trust at the AGM on 13th December 2017. This decision was agreed in the context that the Northern Ireland Assembly is committed to developing a new programme of work entitled the Northern Ireland Assembly Business Network (ABN).

At the AGM members also voted on how the funds should be disbursed in line with the articles of the Trust.

The Board considered the options at its meeting on Wednesday 19th February 2018 and unanimously voted that any decision of how the funds should be disbursed would be put on hold until the political situation is clearer. It met again on 19th September 2018 and again unanimously voted that decision be postponed. The Board will meet again in February 2019 (unless the political situation is resolved sooner) to assess the situation.

NIABT Brexit Debate

On Monday 16th November 2015, the NIABT, in partnership with QUB, held the second of a two part event focusing on the upcoming EU Referendum and how this is likely to impact on Northern Ireland.

Colette Fitzgerald, NI Head of the European Commission Regional Office, Nigel Smyth, CBI NI, Mike Nesbitt MLA and Patsy McGlone MLA ,Chairpersons of the Committees for the Office of the First Minister and deputy First Minister and, for Enterprise, Trade and Investment respectively formed the panel and took questions from the audience.

The Panel discussed a number of issues of concern to local businesses, ranging from agriculture, trade and cultural links with the rest of the Europe and border controls as well as looking at the current ideas for reforming the EU.

The conclusion from the large majority of the audience was that a reformed EU is the best option for the Northern Ireland economy.

NIABT Chair Robin Newton MLA opens the event
NIABT Chair Robin Newton MLA opens the event

Panel taking questions from the audience, l-r Colette Fitzgerald, Patsy McGlone MLA, Mike Nesbitt MLA and Nigel Smyth
Panel taking questions from the audience, l-r Colette Fitzgerald, Patsy McGlone MLA, Mike Nesbitt MLA and Nigel Smyth

NIABT delegation visits Cardiff and Swansea

NIABT delegation visits Cardiff and Swansea as part of an educational programme in Wales.

NIABT delegation pictured at Swansea Bay
NIABT delegation pictured at Swansea Bay

Jo-Anne Dobson MLA pictured with Alice Randone from the Welsh Parliament
Jo-Anne Dobson MLA pictured with Alice Randone from the Welsh Parliament

NIABT delegation pictured with Ioan Jenkins, Development Director for Wales, Swansea Bay Tidal Lagoon
NIABT delegation pictured with Ioan Jenkins, Development Director for Wales, Swansea Bay Tidal Lagoon

John Dallat MLA opens the meeting on public procurement with Value Wales
John Dallat MLA opens the meeting on public procurement with Value Wales

Jo-Anne Dobson MLA and Glyn Roberts pictured with William Graham, Chair of the Committee for Enterprise and Business
Jo-Anne Dobson MLA and Glyn Roberts pictured with William Graham, Chair of the Committee for Enterprise and Business

Leslie Cree MLA, Jo-Anne Dobson MLA and Richard Stewart pictured at Welsh ICE in Caerphilly
Leslie Cree MLA, Jo-Anne Dobson MLA and Richard Stewart pictured at Welsh ICE in Caerphilly

EU Referendum / Brexit debate

On Monday 28th September, the NIABT in partnership with QUB held the first of a two part event, themed on the upcoming EU Referendum and how this is likely to impact on Northern Ireland.

Colette Fitzgerald, Head of the European Commission Regional Office in Northern Ireland, Professor David Phinnemore and Dr Lee McGowan addressed the audience on the issues facing Northern Ireland on the outcome of an announcement of a Brexit.

Robin Newton MLA, NIABT Chair opens the event.
Robin Newton MLA, NIABT Chair opens the event.

John McCallister MLA visits Danske Bank on NIABT fellowship

John McCallister MLA spent the afternoon at Danske Bank headquarters in Belfast to find out the banking sector. During his visit, Mr McCallister was greeted by Kevin Kingston (Deputy CEO) who explained key facts about Danske Bank in Northern Ireland, including their competitive market and business performance.

Mr McCallister then met with John Henning (Head of Agricultural Relations) where he was able to find out more about agriculture and business banking.

Brian Telford (Head of Markets) then spent some time explaining to John how this area of banking operates.

The NIABT held its AGM on Monday 15th June 2015

The NIABT President, Speaker Mitchel McLaughlin MLA presided over the NIABT AGM on Monday evening. Four new Board members were elected to the Board of Trustees, namely Norah Anne Barron, Nicola Bothwell, Noel Brady and Barry Turley.

Members of the NIABT Board pictured at the first meeting of the new Board following the 2015 AGM. l-r Richard Stewart, Nicola Bothwell, Phil Flanagan MLA, Chris brown, Stephen Kelly, Vice Chair, John Stewart, Barry Turley, Noel Brady
Members of the NIABT Board pictured at the first meeting of the new Board following the 2015 AGM.
l-r Richard Stewart, Nicola Bothwell, Phil Flanagan MLA, Chris brown, Stephen Kelly, Vice Chair, John Stewart, Barry Turley, Noel Brady

 

Following the formalities, Professor Neil Gibson delivered an economic briefing where he looked at how society can all contribute to the future economy of Northern Ireland.

View Professor Gibson’s briefing.

Board member Michael Bell chaired the questions for Professor Neil Gibson.
Board member Michael Bell chaired the questions for Professor Neil Gibson.