A successful Northern Ireland will be built upon an economy that is internationally focused and leading in sectors providing high quality employment opportunities from every part and every community across the Province. The DUP recognises the need to create a high value and high productivity economy.
The economy will benefit from a mix of large international corporations investing in Northern Ireland and a strong indigenous SME sector in areas including technology start-ups, advanced manufacturing and engineering, and agri-foods.
In the past we were internationally recognised for our shipbuilding, rope works and linen industry; today we are global leaders in cyber security, fintech and advanced manufacturing. Northern Ireland has a proud history of entrepreneurship and industrial endeavour; we must reignite this spirit.
In government, the DUP rightly prioritised our private sector, building our international presence through Invest NI and implementing strategies to tackle economic inactivity, innovation and skills. Northern Ireland remains the most successful part of the UK outside of London for attracting FDI, and Belfast is regularly identified as one of the top ten tech cities anywhere in Europe.
In the last Assembly term, the jobs target of 25,000 set by the Executive was smashed with 40,000 achieved. It is a clear demonstration how government can make a positive contribution to jobs and businesses.
The fundamental challenges our economy now face are skills and productivity so this must be at the centre of the Assembly’s future work. DUP Economy Ministers’ have launched a suite of ‘10X’ documents; setting out an ambitious vision for the local economy by investing in young people, promoting a decade of innovation and focussing on our strengths.
We delivered on jobs, now we must deliver on creating a dynamic, modern and sustainable economy which provides opportunity for all.