Foster gets expert advice on economic policy


Enterprise Minister Arlene Foster, has met with the newly established Economic Advisory Group (EAG).

The EAG has been set up following the recommendation from the Independent Review of Economic Policy, to create a focused group of experts, from economics and business. The group will provide independent advice to the Minister of Enterprise, Trade and Investment, aimed at challenging and developing public policy and strategic thinking on the Northern Ireland and UK economy.

Enterprise Minister Arlene Foster welcomed the inaugural meeting of the group, which is chaired by independent economist Kate Barker CBE, former member of the Monetary Policy Committee of the Bank of England, and involves experts from the fields of business, skills and economics.

Its members are Professor Frances Ruane, Director, Economic and Social Research Institute; Michael Ryan CBE, Bombardier Aerospace; Mark Nodder, Wright Group; Alan Armstrong, Almac; Stephen Kingon, Invest NI Board; Gerry Mallon, Northern Bank; Lorraine Hall, Kestrel Foods and Bill McGinnis, NI Employment and Skills Adviser.

Arlene Foster said: “The Economic Advisory Group brings together some of the top minds in business, skills and economics to provide independent advice, aimed at challenging and developing public policy and strategic thinking on the Northern Ireland and UK economy.”

The Minister added: “The primary focus, over the next few months, will be for the Economic Advisory Group to contribute to the development of an Economic Strategy. They will also have a key role in informing the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Investment’s (DETI) contribution to the next Northern Ireland Executive Programme for Government and the development of the 2011-2014 DETI Corporate Plan.”

Speaking in her role as Chair of EAG, Kate Barker said: “I believe that the Group can make a valuable contribution to the development of economic policy in Northern Ireland. I am looking forward to working closely with my EAG colleagues on the key issues, leading to robust policy for Northern Ireland which will enable entrepreneurship and drive prosperity.”