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Transport Infrastructure Is Key In Economic Crisis

12 March, 2009

Regional Development Minister Conor Murphy has said infrastructure investment has a vital role to play in the current economic crisis.

Addressing the fourth All Ireland Infrastructure Conference in the Waterfront Hall in Belfast, the Minister emphasised the Executive’s commitment to do "all in its power to ensure that our infrastructure is fully developed."

Mr Murphy said: "It is important that the public and private sectors work together to develop our infrastructure to ensure that we can take full advantage of the upturn in the economy, when it comes.”

The Minister said: “I want to give you the assurance that my transportation plans and priorities remain unchanged and that we are building for the future – even in these difficult times.”

The two-day conference was addressed by government ministers from the North and South and by representatives from all key infrastructure sectors – roads, railways, rapid transit, water, sewerage ports and airports. The conference brought together key players involved in delivering infrastructure on the island of Ireland, including policy-makers, members from the voluntary and community sectors, developers and sponsors, the construction industry and the legal and financial community.

“We must not lose focus on the role that infrastructure investment has to play. It is not just banks and consumer confidence that need support; transport is, after all, the backbone of the economy. Without efficient transport, the Irish economy, North and South, cannot function effectively – it is vital that we keep goods, commuters and customers moving. To have a successful modern economy we need to have a modern, efficient, sustainable transport network.

“This means we have to both construct and progress now, the infrastructure schemes that are needed for long-term success, producing a boost for the construction industry in the short term and wider benefits in the longer term."

The Minister said that during the current economic crisis public limited companies need as much support as possible and indigenous businesses must have the right infrastructure in place to compete better in this increasingly challenging market: "Likewise we need the infrastructure to be able to attract foreign direct investment. My Department is bringing forward many projects in infrastructure sectors and these will support a successful modern economy."

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