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McLaughlin welcomes Ulster Bank Chief’s comments

3 October, 2007

Sinn Féin Economy Spokesperson, Mitchel McLaughlin MLA (South Antrim) has strongly welcomed the call from Dr Alan Gillespie, Chairperson of the Ulster Bank Group for the amalgamation of the two job promotion agencies on the island, the IDA and Invest NI.

Mitchel McLaughlin said:

"I have long been an advocate of one all-Ireland job creation agency as being the most efficient manner of promoting this island as a place where international business should invest. It makes sense that if we accept that our future is bound up in a single island economy - and most economists agree that it is - then rather than North and South compete there should be a collaborative effort to attract inward investment

"But it is not just in the area of Direct Foreign Investment that Dr. Gillespie's comments dovetail with the long-standing Sinn Féin position. As my Party Spokesperson on the Economy I am on record urging substantial investment in education, information technology and R&D as the most potent way to stimulate the Economy.

"I would strongly urge Enterprise, Trade & Investment Minister, Nigel Dodds, in light of his comments at the 12th Annual Economic Conference that his 'vision is for a higher value-added economy that is able to compete effectively within a globalised workforce', to listen carefully to what Dr. Gillespie and others who cannot be accused of having a political agenda are saying.

"Special attention should be given to assisting and encouraging indigenous business start-up and expansion as this area is the foundation on which a sustainable economy will be built." ENDS

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