Judith Cochrane MLA said: “Businesses often look to Stormont for us to make decisions that will support them to grow our economy. Frustratingly what you will often see from the outside is too many people focusing on the old tribal politics of the past and not on the important issues that will lead to a prosperous future for all people in Northern Ireland.
“Like other jurisdictions, Northern Ireland is struggling to shake off the effects of the downturn; however it is not all doom and gloom. There are some encouraging signs that we are in the early stages of recovery.
“Northern Ireland is fast becoming an international capital for ICT and financial services with big brands like NYSE, CITI and Allstate all choosing to locate here. However, further investment in training and education is required to deal with skills shortages if we are to fully benefit from this.
“I hope that those local business leaders who attended found this an informative event and gained a valuable insight into the global export market.
“I also hope that the new Assembly Group which I established on small and medium sized enterprises will bring together business leaders to identify the key strategic issues facing the sector and to generate practical ideas and proposals to feed into the work of the Assembly and Executive.”