David Ford said: “This event will be an opportunity for businesses, especially from the local area in South Antrim to come together and build contacts. We need to build confidence in our business sector and Alliance fully supports attempts to improve our economy.
“One of our key hopes for economic growth is our tourist sector. There cannot be many people who are not aware of “2012 Our Time, Our Place”. This shows the Northern Ireland that I want the world to see – be it our magnificent environment, our culture, our great hospitality and our recent sporting success.
“There is however still work that needs to be done to build a shared future that will develop a society to which investors will be attracted. We are also wasting money on dealing with division, using money and resources that could be better spent on helping economic growth.
“I know the good work that John Doran from Belfast International Airport and Katy Best from the NI Tourist board are doing to help attract visitors here. I hope that our businesses will continue to work together to help build up our economy.
“I am delighted that my colleague Stephen Farry, the Minister for Employment and Learning will be one of the speakers at this event. I know he has made the improvement of the skills set of the Northern Ireland workforce a priority within his Department. If we are to attract businesses to Northern Ireland or to help expand existing companies, then we need to ensure that our workforce have the skills that employers require.
“Northern Ireland is still feeling the effects of the economic downturn five years ago, but through hard work and innovation by our business leaders, I am certain that we will get our economy growing again.”