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Radical change is needed in economic development - Ó Muilleoir

23 April, 2016 - by Máirtín Ó Muilleoir

A chairde, Tapaimís an deis faoin Tús Nua ó Thuaidh le jabanna a sholáthar don aos óg ach go háirithe.

Ach le borradh ceart a chur faoi chúrsaí eacnamaíochta, tá athrach radacach de dhíth.

Más maith linn go mbeadh fás rábach ar an gheilleagar cois teorainn, beidh limistéar eacnamaíochta ar leith idir an dá thaobh den teorainn mar chuid de gheilleagar uile-Éireann. Ar an bhealach sin, beidh na ceantair cois teorann i gcroí-láir an gheilleagair chan ar an imeall.

Radical change is needed.

Radical change is needed in how we approach the key issue of economic development in the North.

All of us want to grow the economy and create thousands of jobs.

But to do that, ‘as you were’ isn’t good enough.

It needs a fresh and determined focus.

It needs an urgency and intensity not seen before.

In my home city of Belfast Belfast, it needs us to raise our game as a city.

It needs Belfast, in economic terms, to be a Champions League city.

And, in my view, the Fresh Start and the new Department of the Economy at Stormont gives us the ideal opportunity to reboot our entire approach to economic development.

The potential is enormous: Belfast and Dublin are the two youngest cities in Europe, the corridor between them can be the most vibrant knowledge economy region in Europe. If we build the all-island economy, the areas on the border are not on the periphery of two economies, they are instead at the very heart of the economy.

It’s not rocket science, a chairde, but even if it is did I tell you that the best astrophysics department in these islands is in Queen’s University at the heart of my constituency of South Belfast.

It would be wrong of me to leave the stage without mentioning a very important event happens the week after next in Belfast. A select few — some in this hall — will be running and competing with all their might to be first across the finish line. I refer of course to the Belfast City Marathon in which I will carry the colours of that formidable South Belfast-based charity fighting for equality for those with learning disabilities Mencap.  If you want to ensure those with learning difficulties play a full part in our economy you can contribute to their funds by sponsoring my efforts.

Seo an t-am, seo an deis, cuirimis i gcrích an t-athrú radacach atá de dhíth.

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