28/02/2002

Devolution helps bring transparency to government

As a result of devolution the government of Northern Ireland is a more transparent and publicly scrutinised process than ever before, the Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Investment Sir Reg Empey has told Strabane Chamber of Commerce.

The Minister was speaking at the annual dinner of the Strabane Chamber of Commerce on Wednesday February 27 where he was highlighting the economic benefits of devolved power.

Sir Reg said: “One of the key benefits of devolution is that Government has been brought closer to the people of Northern Ireland. The publication of DETI’s draft corporate plan, which for the first time ever has gone out to wide consultation, is evidence of this closer relationship.

“This consultation process ensures that the views of those most effected by the actions of my Department have the opportunity to shape the future direction of economic development.

“The business community have a pivotal role to play in this process, as they can communicate at grass roots level the issues most relevant to their area.

“In Strabane, I anticipate that these issues are the introduction of the Euro, sustaining and supporting the textile industry and tourism development, but there will be other areas which the business community perceive as opportunities or threats to future economic development.

“I am interested in local people communicating local issues and ensuring that all parts of Northern Ireland take part in this debate about our economic future as together we take on the ebbs and flows of the global economy.”

The Strabane Chamber of Commerce and Industry is an independent and not for profit organisation which aims to promote business between its members and others in the Strabane area.

The organisation aims to represent the best interests of the community by encouraging commercial growth and local property development.

(AMcE)

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