First Minister Peter Robinson MLA and Patsy McGlone MLA spoke to an audience of over 120 business people on the importance of the agri-food industry to the Northern Ireland economy, and how sharing information between businesses and MLAs can lead to new and exciting economic opportunities.
NIABT Business Member and Managing Director of O’Kane Poultry, Tony O’Neill, spoke of the difficulties faced by small agricultural based industries in the current economic climate. He told the audience that now was the time to work closely with the Assembly and with the NIABT in particular, to find practical solutions and to promote the local economy internationally.
The Northern Ireland Assembly and Business Trust (NIABT) is hosting a special training programme tonight (Monday 22 November) on suicide prevention.
PIPS Programmes will be here at Parliament Buildings to train MLAs, their staff and Business Trust members to spot the warnings signs and know where and when to get the right support for people at risk of taking their own life.
Just before tonight’s training we asked NIABT members and MLAs Sue Ramsey and Dawn Purvis how this training could help:
The increase in VAT, cuts to benefits and the freezing of public service pay were all topics for discussion at today’s Northern Ireland Assembly and Business Trust Breakfast. Minister for Finance and Personnel, Sammy Wilson was on hand this morning to give members of the Business Trust a run down on the main aspects of the Government’s Spending Review and what it will mean in real terms to the people of Northern Ireland.
As well as the inevitable harsh facts on the cuts to come, the Minister spoke positively about the challenges ahead and the innovative ways revenue could be raised, including the new plastic bags tax which should see a raise in revenue of approximately £4 million.
The event was well attended by over 60 trust members from businesses across the Northern Ireland. Northern Ireland Assembly and Business Trust breakfast briefings are held on the second Tuesday of every month. Take a look at the Northern Ireland Assembly and Business Trust (NIABT) website for more information – niabt.org – or follow them on twitter.com/niabt.
For further information on today’s event, why not listen to our audio boo interviews with the Minister, Chairperson of the NIABT Sean Neeson MLA and Chief Executive of the Northern Ireland Independent Retail Trade Association (NIIRTA) and Business Trust Member Glyn Roberts.
With the current gloomy news on the economy, talk of possible job losses and cutbacks to public services, Invest NI’s Chief Executive, Alastair Hamilton sent out a positive and hopeful message today of significant growth in foreign investment to Northern Ireland and a marked increase in job creation.
Recent good news stories such as the investment by the American Banking conglomerate CITI will see the introduction of 501 new jobs. Alasdair was quick to point out that many new investors are attracted by the positive business environment and the skilled workforce available here.
Today’s briefing saw the Long Gallery packed with successful local business representatives, high profile journalists and MLAs including the Chair of the Assembly’s Enterprise Trade and Investment Committee, Alban Maginness MLA.
Today’s presentation was followed by a lively discussion on issues such as the possibility of greater economic cooperation with Europe and the often thorny and controversial subject of corporation tax.
Northern Ireland Assembly and Business Trust breakfast briefings are held on the second Tuesday of every month. Take a look at the Northern Ireland Assembly and Business Trust website for more information – niabt.org – or follow them on Twitter.