NI Chamber leads unique engagement with Northern Ireland’s political leaders

Ensuring the best deal for Northern Ireland in Brexit negotiations and the opportunity to avail of a reduction in Corporation Tax means this election is the most important for jobs and the economy in the history of Northern Ireland – that was the message from Northern Ireland Chamber of Commerce and Industry (NI Chamber) President Nick Coburn as he launched NI Chamber’s ‘5 Leaders; 5 Days’ series.

Explaining the initiative, Mr Coburn said: ‘5 Leaders; 5 Days’ gives the leaders of five political parties a platform to outline their plans for jobs and the economy in the run-up to the election on 2 March 2017.

“The initiative not only provides an opportunity for parties to spell out their views on creating jobs and growing the Northern Ireland economy, but it also allows the business community to contribute to and inform the debate on these and other vital issues.

“Ensuring the best for Northern Ireland on Brexit is key to addressing major business concerns. These include clarification on the border, ensuring that businesses are able to trade as freely as possible with the Republic of Ireland and the freedom of movement of people living and working on both sides of the border.

“We also require a new Executive in place as soon as the election is over to proceed with Northern Ireland’s lower rate of Corporation Tax which we believe is still very much on the agenda and will boost the region’s attractiveness to investors. Ultimately it is about job creation meaning businesses can employ more people and contribute to social inclusion. It is absolutely vital that nothing knocks that objective off course.

“We therefore look forward to hearing from the party leaders on these issues and others of great importance to the business community throughout February.”

The first of the five events takes place on 14 February where DUP leader Arlene Foster will outline her party’s plans for the economy. UUP’s Mike Nesbitt will speak on 15 February with SDLP’s Colum Eastwood addressing businesses on 17 February. Sinn Fein’s Michelle O’Neill will speak on 22 February with Alliance Party Leader Naomi Long concluding the series on 24 February.

Businesses can register for the events at www.northernirelandchamber.com.