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Sinn Fein welcomes growth in all Ireland trade

26 July, 2004

Sinn Féin Economy Spokesperson, Fermanagh South Tyrone MP Michelle Gildernew has said that the huge potential of all Ireland trade must be built upon after the Quarterly Monitor from Int4erTrade Ireland showed the continuing growth of all Ireland trade.

Ms Gildernew said:

"These latest figures show that the volume of all Ireland trade continues to grow. In the last three months of 2003 it was worth £350 million. With growth in North-South growing by nearly 5% it is vital that businesses in the north are given more support to develop all Ireland links.

"It is clear that the volume of trade has significantly increased over the past decade. The value of all manufacturing goods 'exported' from the north to the south has doubled and now account for 25% of our non-UK exports.

"While the overall value and volume of goods has increased it is clear from this statistical analysis that there is a far greater potential for growth in the volume and value of internal trade. In particular also southern businesses need to wake up to the opportunities that exist in doing business with their northern counterparts.

"Work on removing barriers to developing the all Ireland economy needs to continue. In recent weeks there has been the recognition about the importance of a single energy market, we now need to wake up to the other opportunities that exist particularly in developing and growing indigenous business.

"Increasingly people now advocate for a single island economy because they recognise its potential. Reunification would require substantial investment across the Ireland to re-establish the transport and communications infrastructure but also in terms of connecting economies and the creative and knowledge based centres across the island." ENDS

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