Foster welcomes independent review of economic policy

Enterprise Minister Arlene Foster has welcomed the publication of the Independent Review of Economic Policy.

The Minister, who announced the review in December 2008, was speaking after the launch of the report by the Review Panel Chairman, Professor Richard Barnett, Vice Chancellor of the University of Ulster, in Belfast today.

Arlene Foster said: “I welcome the publication of the report. It has been prepared at a time when we are facing immediate economic challenges as well as looking to the future.

“The report contains a series of recommendations on policy issues relating to my department and Invest NI. It also refers to wider economic policy formulation across the Northern Ireland Executive.

“I will now give the report my full and urgent consideration and will work closely with my Executive colleagues, listening to their views and seeking a consensus on the way forward.

“Given the importance and complexity of the matters addressed, I also intend to carry out a short period of consultation on the report. Many organisations, companies and individuals will have an interest and will wish to comment on its analysis and findings. I will, of course, be seeking the views of the Assembly’s Enterprise, Trade and Investment Committee.

“I want to reach timely conclusions and to initiate purposeful actions, as soon as possible.”

The Minister concluded by thanking Professor Richard Barnett and the Review Panel for their work.

Arlene Foster said: “I want to thank Professor Barnett and his colleagues on the Review Panel for providing such a substantial report. It is clear that they have worked extremely hard in addressing a wide range of highly important and complex issues.

“This Report is a major contribution to the debate on how we can achieve the economic goals outlined in the Programme for Government. I and my Executive colleagues are committed using all the tools available to us to raise living standards across Northern Ireland.”