by Richard Buckley, Editor, Business Eye

Trade NI, the alliance of Hospitality Ulster, Retail NI, and Manufacturing NI, which represents over 5,000 businesses in Northern Ireland met with the new Taoiseach, Micheál Martin TD in Dublin this afternoon to discuss developing the all island economy, Brexit and Covid-19 economic recovery. The group also met the Sinn Fein Seanad Leader Niall Ó Donnghaile.


Trade NI Chief Executives Colin Neill, Glyn Roberts, and Stephen Kelly said:

“This was a good first meeting with An Taoiseach were we outlined our commitment to work with his Government and the NI Executive in developing the North-South economy post-Covid and as we approach the challenges businesses will face due to Brexit come 1 January 2021.”

“As both Governments on this island are now focusing on Covid-19 economic recovery, the role of business in driving and shaping our economy is absolutely vital. We had a useful discussion with An Taoiseach on the economic aspects of his Department’s new Shared Island Unit. We also discussed the cooperation required, particularly for goods destined for the Northern Irish and UK marketplace, via Dublin Port, when the Northern Ireland Protocol comes in to force on 1 January.”

“The EU Withdrawal Agreement comes with the potential for significant burdens for Northern Irish and Irish businesses, so there needs to be greater collaboration between Dublin and Belfast on areas of mutual benefit where possible to ensure our post-Covid recovery is strong. Businesses, consumers, and tourists must be able to continue to enjoy the island of Ireland as a good place to shop, visit, socialise and do business.”

“Our visit with An Taoiseach coincided with the first meeting of the North South Ministerial Council since the Executive was reformed and we hope that greater cooperation will bring about a positive response to the current health and economic emergency.”

“Trade NI has already published its ‘Vision 2030’ – a detailed ten-year plan for the Northern Ireland economy. We hope to produce our own ideas for developing the all-island economy over the next few months.”

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Glyn Roberts, Chief Executive, Retail NI, An Taoiseach, Micheál Martin TD, Stephen Kelly, Chief Executive, Manufacturing NI and Colin Neill, Chief Executive, Hospitality Ulster.

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