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CBI - IBEC statement shows gathering momentum of all-Ireland agenda

25 October, 2006

Sinn Féin Economy Spokesperson Mitchel McLaughlin MLA has welcomed the joint statement from the CBI and IBEC Joint Business Council adopting a new strategy for 2007-2013 and recognising that the 'needs of all-island economy must take centre stage'.

Commenting on the statement Mr McLaughlin said:

"Sinn Féin have engaged with business leaders, trade unions and civic society in building the demand for the all-Ireland agenda.

"This is the clearest recognition of the acceptance that there is a huge untapped potential within the all-Ireland approach.

"We must make the most of this growing momentum to ensure that delivery from both the Irish and British governments is consistent with the demand for a substantial step change in the all-Ireland approach across a number of key areas.

"We met with Irish Finance Minister Brian Cowen last week and will again be raising these issues when we meet with the British Chancellor on November 1st.

"The Irish and British governments have given the commitment to deliver a Peace Dividend, particularly to address the infrastructure deficit. We need to see an integrated approach to address the need for balanced regional development and investment in infrastructure.

"I particularly welcome the demand from CBI-IBEC for a more ambitious approach 'on an all-island level to deal with the issues of waste, spatial planning, transport and education'.

"Sinn Féin will be looking at the detail of the coming NSMC study into the all-Ireland economy and seeking to ensure that its' high-level goals in infrastructure; science, technology and innovation; trade and investment promotion; labour market and skills and enterprise and business development are delivered." ENDS

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