Derry has an “unprecedented opportunity” to drum up business in the countdown to next year’s City of Culture celebrations.
This is the view of the North’s Enterprise Minister Arlene Foster who believes the city has much to look forward to in 2013.
Mrs. Foster made her comments during her visit to Derry on Thursday last.
While in Derry, Minister Foster addressed a business lunch attended by senior executives from across the North West.
Assuring local business leaders of the Executive’s determination to promote economic growth across Northern Ireland, Minister Foster said: “As an Executive, we have made growing the economy and tackling disadvantage our primary focus for the next four years.
“It is important that we concentrate our resources on improving the current economic climate by laying sound foundations for the future, through investment in infrastructure, enterprise, exporting, innovation, attracting foreign investment, tourism, sustainable energy and skills.
“As we move towards Londonderry City of Culture in 2013, the North West has an unprecedented opportunity to generate future business.
“I believe there are many opportunities for local companies and Invest Northern Ireland’s Boosting Business initiative has been developed to help support local businesses going forward and encourage job creation.
“Londonderry has much to look forward to. Local businesses have a vital role to play in the region’s development and I know they will rise to the challenge to help ensure the city’s reputation as a vibrant and thriving city continues to grow.”
Ian Coulter, chairman of the CBI in Northern Ireland, said last Thursday’s event was a “great opportunity” for local business leaders to engage directly with the Minister on the key issues facing their businesses.
He added: “It was also an opportunity for these leaders to listen to the Minister’s immediate priorities in terms of the next few months under the Programme for Government.
“The CBI and the Northern Ireland Executive share a goal in the promotion of economic growth in the North-West. We would encourage businesses to get behind the UK City of Culture 2013 event that Derry/Londonderry is soon to enjoy.
“The North-West already plays host to some hugely successfully and internationally renowned companies like Seagate and Kainos and, hopefully, the 2013 event will lead to more regeneration and growth.”