Belfast, Northern Ireland
In a remarkable gathering of over 200 chief executives and influential business stakeholders, the CBI Northern Ireland Annual Business Breakfast took center stage at the prestigious Culloden Estate & Spa, near Belfast. The event, considered one of the most crucial dates on Northern Ireland’s business calendar, provided a platform for intensive discussions and insights aimed at shaping the region’s economic future.
A highlight of the event was a compelling speech delivered by the newly appointed Labour’s Shadow Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, Rt Hon Hilary Benn MP. Addressing the attendees, Benn emphasized the importance of stability, a functional Stormont, and a forward-looking Westminster government. He keenly acknowledged the challenges faced by the Northern Ireland business community and underscored the region’s unique opportunities, particularly in exporting to both the EU single market and the British market.
During the event, Mr. Benn engaged in a lively Question-and-Answer session, addressing a wide array of topics, from the labor market to the Windsor Framework. His dialogue with the business community shed light on critical issues, including strategies to improve economic growth in Devolved Nations and the need to establish robust relations with the EU in a post-Brexit world.
Angela McGowan, director of CBI Northern Ireland, expressed the community’s appreciation for Benn’s insights. “The business community enjoyed hearing Mr. Benn’s thoughts on improving economic growth in Devolved Nations and building strong relations with the EU in a post-Brexit world,” she remarked. McGowan also emphasized the importance of the CBI’s collaboration with political leaders from various parties, ensuring that the voice of Northern Ireland’s business community resonates strongly in the lead-up to the upcoming General Election.
Richard Gillan, chair of CBI Northern Ireland, echoed the sentiment, expressing delight in seeing a diverse audience comprising business leaders, political representatives, and government stakeholders. He highlighted the significance of Benn’s enthusiastic support for the Northern Ireland economy, indicating a positive trajectory for the region. Gillan underlined the CBI’s commitment to influence political manifestos, especially in addressing persistent economic challenges such as inflation and labor shortages, with the ultimate goal of driving economic growth and prosperity for the country.
The event, in association with strategic partner Viberoptix and corporate partners The Maxol Group and Indaver, was a testament to the collaborative efforts aimed at fostering economic resilience and sustainability in Northern Ireland. As the region gears up for the forthcoming General Election, the insights shared at the CBI Northern Ireland Annual Business Breakfast are poised to play a pivotal role in shaping the region’s economic landscape for years to come.