Minister launches Economic Recovery Action Plan
Northern Ireland’s economic recovery will be driven by innovation, investment and a skilled workforce, Economy Minister Diane Dodds said, as she launched the Economic Recovery Action Plan which sets out a road map to rebuilding the economy from the impact of the pandemic.
The Minister said: “As we move slowly back to normality, we must put all our efforts into restarting, repairing and rebuilding our economy. We must encourage businesses to innovate and lead and we must support workers to prepare for new opportunities.
“My Economic Recovery Action Plan is the blueprint to rebuild a stronger economy in Northern Ireland. We will focus on where we have the greatest opportunity to drive innovation and develop the skills and capability of our workforce to secure better jobs.”
The report identifies supporting a highly-skilled workforce, stimulating research and development, building a greener economy and promoting investment, trade and exports as the drivers to recovery.
It also identifies a number of actions the Department plans to take to stimulate growth. These include delivering the High Street Stimulus Scheme; a Tourism Voucher Scheme to stimulate demand;accelerating delivery of City and Growth Deals; and developing a green innovation challenge fund.
Open for business
“Going forward our message must be clear – Northern Ireland is once again open for business, open for investment and open for visitors.”
The Economic Recovery Action Plan has been welcomed by leaders from the business, tourism and hospitality, and skills sectors.
Dr Joanne Stuart, CEO of the NI Tourism Alliance (NITA), said: “NITA welcomes the Department’s Recovery Action Plan which recognises the importance of the tourism and travel industry as a key economic driver for regional economic recovery. The actions outlined within the report are critical to supporting the survival and rebuilding of the tourism industry and NITA look forward to continued engagement with the Minister through the Tourism Recovery Steering Group on the development of a sustainable Tourism Strategy.”
Kevin Holland, Chief Executive of Invest Northern Ireland, said: “The Department’s Recovery Action Plan sets out a wider ambition to create longer term economic prosperity. It will contribute to the trade, investment and jobs that will support the rebalancing of our economy and underpin the building of a shared future for all. We are very happy to see innovation front and centre in driving this ambition.
“We are currently building detailed delivery plans under eight economic drivers aligned to the Department’s plan. These plans can impact quickly, generate public economic success and build for the future.”
John McGrillen, Chief Executive Officer of Tourism NI, said: “I welcome the publication of this action plan as we continue to offer support towards the recovery of our tourism industry in partnership with the Department for the Economy. Many businesses have been severely impacted by the pandemic, but we have also witnessed huge resilience and a determination to adapt and survive.
Pictured with Economy Minister Diane Dodds are (left) Dr Joanne Stuart, CEO of the NI Tourism Alliance (NITA) and Angela McGowan, Director of the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) Northern Ireland.