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"One Stop Cross-Border Shop for SME Support required" McCann

27 March, 2012 - by Jennifer McCann

Sinn Féin DETI Committee member Jennifer McCann MLA has called on the Minister for Enterprise Trade & Investment Arlene Foster to initiate contact with her Dublin counterpart with the intention of creating a one stop shop where SME's North and South can access advice and support.

Speaking following a North South Ministerial Council Statement on Trade & Business from the Minister, Ms McCann said,

"The North South Ministerial Council Statement delivered by Minister Foster today, clearly illustrates the benefits that would accrue to the economy and the SME sector through cross-border collaboration in accessing Public Procurement contracts.

"It also highlighted ongoing initiatives that have successfully drawn down EU Framework funding by SME's working on an all-Island co-operative basis.

"It is therefore time that the Enterprise Ministers North and South recognise the interdependence of both parts of the island on each other and the potential of co-operation and collaboration in growing a sustainable island economy by eliminating duplication, administrative waste and other costs by working on an all-Island basis in terms of Trade and Business and other services.

"SME's have called for more innovative support in terms of developing their businesses. There is an opportunity for Ministers to lead the way in this by being more innovative in the way they deliver programmes and services by working with their Dublin counterparts on devising unified approaches to business support and development instead of perpetuating a wasteful two Agency approach to Trade and Investment opportunities."

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