NI Chamber chief executive Ann McGregor believes there is a fantastic opportunity for Northern Ireland to grow the economy around innovative green schemes, as long as we see a period of political stability. She claims that business confidence seems to be returning to our shores and that can only be good for the country and the future.
Over 50% Renewable Electricity Generation Is Already In Place
Here is what the chief executive said in a recent article in the Belfast Telegraph about how going green could be particularly beneficial for many businesses:
“We firmly believe that Northern Ireland is well placed to position itself as a place apart for green growth thanks to our size, geography and highly-skilled workforce.
“With over 50% renewable electricity generation already in place, there are many exciting plans and innovations poised to unlock green growth into the near future.
“The independent UK Climate Change Committee previously advised that to achieve this transition, a majority of additional funding should come from the private sector. That’s untapped potential which critically, can only be fully unlocked with a functioning Executive in place.
“Earlier this year, a team from NI Chamber travelled to North America, where we discussed why Northern Ireland should be considered an ideal test-bed for innovation.
“Northern Ireland is often described as neither too big nor too small which in many respects, makes it just right for testing new and innovative ideas across a range of high-growth industries and sectors.
Significant Potential To Build Further
“There is significant potential to build on what we’re already doing exceptionally well.
“From fintech and cyber security to medtech and low carbon technology, Northern Ireland is already leading the way by using size to its advantage.
“Take fintech as an example. In a review in 2021, Belfast was recognised as a leading UK hub for fintech.
“The sector employs 40,000 people, with key names like Bank of London entering the market last year, creating 250 high skilled jobs with £8m in salaries being generated for the economy.
“With the right approach, there are many more tangible opportunities to be grasped. Not least because Northern Ireland’s position as a gateway to two of the world’s largest markets was confirmed earlier this year in the Windsor Framework. Unique, unfettered, and flexible access to the EU and UK markets means this is the only jurisdiction in the world where businesses can sell into GB and the EU free of customs and regulatory barriers.
“International investors are poised and keen to help us realise the potential benefits, but they need political stability as a pre-requisite.
“Despite the reality of our fiscal constraints, our businesses remain resilient and continue to grow. However, last month’s confirmation of a budget allocation for the Department for the Economy has laid bare the long-term economic challenges we face.
“From driving green growth to showcasing Northern Ireland as a place to work, visit and invest, this budget will impact upon every facet of our economy.”
So the future does maybe look a lot brighter than the recent past, but it appears that the political leaders will have to play their part if these goals are to be realised.