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Partnership the key to Economic Development

26 September, 2007

Sinn Féin deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness, MP, MLA has said that partnership between government, business and the people will enable us to seize the opportunites and meet the challenges of promoting economic growth on this island.

Mr McGuinness was addressing the Institute of Directors' North/South Dinner in Dublin Castle where he was guest of honour.

Mr McGuinness said the "unprecedented democratic accountability" which now existed North and South, was a major factor in seeing that economic development benefited society as a whole.

He said:

"Communities have never been better placed to influence and determine policy and strategies that will influence the management of economies north and south. In addition the goals of government and business are not incompatible.

"Business wants greater wealth creation and government wants better quality, high wage employment. This can only happen through a successful Research and Development Strategy, led by the business community in partnership with the third level sector and supported by Government," he said.

"Education is the link to insure our workers have the right skills and business can engage in the cutting edge research that they need to compete in this new century.

"There should be no business that is not focusing on innovation and not being supported by a collaborative network of government funding and third level research. This is the only way forward.

"The types of goods and services we produce on the island have fundamentally altered. It is the duty of politicians to facilitate the changing economy while ensuring the successful transformation of the old into new developments, new products and new opportunities.

"We have, I believe, a series of common objectives when it comes to the economy. We all want sustainable growth, a significant increase in exports, a greater number of new business start ups and the best possible environment to do business in."

Mr McGuinness also said he wanted to see a greater number of entrepreneurs, especially more women, more businesses from the rural regions and marginalised inner city areas as well as more young people.

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