Speech to NI Assembly
Confidence within the local manufacturing sector was last year so low that an official government report urged a programme of action that includes promoting the message that ‘manufacturing has a future’.
‘The Future role of Manufacturing in Northern Ireland’ which the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Investment (DETI) commissioned from PriceWaterhouseCoopers last summer was produced because of the hemorrhaging of manufacturing jobs and the movement of companies to overseas low cost countries. The report is impressive, but urgent action on the impressive words is now called for.
There is a need for some positive movement on the various issues identified. My concerns were once again raised following the announcement by Adria to stop manufacturing in the northwest plus the high profile campaign against industrial de-rating organized by local companies. And the employers do deserve support in their campaign. The favorable rates position has been a small feature in helping make NI an attractive manufacturing base for inward investment.