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McLaughlin welcomes IBEC-CBI Joint Business Council statement on benefits of all Ireland single economy

7 July, 2009

Sinn Féin Economy Spokesperson Mitchel McLaughlin MLA (South Antrim) has stated that the statement issued by the IBEC-CBI Joint Business Committee (JBC) points towards a clear realisation that a single island economy is the best way to economic recovery.

Mitchel McLaughlin said:

“The statement by the Joint Business Committee of IBEC-CBI sends a very clear message to both administrations on this island that a focused approach on building an all-Ireland single economy is the best way for forward for economic regeneration.

"The IBEC-CBI Joint Business Council's (JBC)  plan launched in Armagh last week by Regional Development Minister, Conor Murphy has attracted European funding and will drive all-island collaboration in key areas.

"Its focus on infrastructure priorities, improved road, rail, freight and port accessibility could assist in developing a strong export market which is essential for economic regeneration.

“The fact is that two competing economies on a small island of under 6 million people, now more than ever, will only serve to hamper efforts to revitalise the economy. Economic competition will lead to stagnation and wasteful spending on duplication of services. Given the current global economic crisis to have two health services, two education services, two currencies and so forth on an island of less than 6 million people is not practical. Initiatives such as the all-island Single Electricity Market should be used as a model for collaboration in all areas of economic development.

“Continuous fluctuation between the two economies is of no strategic benefit to anyone. What we should now be doing is examining ways of cross border co-operation and the establishment of a focused all Ireland economy.

"Reg McCabe, Chief Executive of the JBC, said they would continue to influence the governments north and south on their priorities.

“He continued 'We recognise in the context of the current adverse economic climate that more than ever, leadership and a coherent vision and commonality of purpose are required from the JBC and other business organisations'. This also applies to government, I hope that they are listening." End

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