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Foster addresses Northern Ireland Chamber of Commerce and Industry

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First Minister Arlene Foster MLA has delivered a keynote address at the Growing Something Brilliant Leadership event hosted by the Northern Ireland Chamber of Commerce and Industry today.

The event is the first in a series under NI Chamber’s ‘Growing Something Brilliant Leadership Series’ which brings together senior business leaders and influencers from a range of sectors across Northern Ireland.

Addressing over 100 members of the local business community the First Minister set out her vision for the future of Northern Ireland. The First Minister said: “Every political leader must have a clear vision of what they want to achieve. Leadership is not simply about telling others what to do – it is understanding what needs to be done.

“Growing the Northern Ireland economy remains the number one priority of the Executive. This requires leadership not just from politicians but from everyone with entrepreneurial spirit and business acumen.

“During my time in office, I want to see a Northern Ireland where economic prosperity is achieved and shared right across the Province and where we value people from every background and every walk of life and make them as proud of this country as we are.

“Northern Ireland has become a place where we can celebrate our culture and respect that of others. By working together Government can reform and work for the good of all our people and I will work with everyone to make sure this happens.

“I believe that politics should be a feature of every town and every community and that our elected representatives should get out and meet local people in their own constituencies.

“That is why one of the first suggestions that I made to the deputy First Minister was that before the elections in May, we should take Executive meetings outside Belfast and we have agreed to hold meetings in Fermanagh and Londonderry in the coming weeks.”

Continuing, the First Minister highlighted how she believes Northern Ireland now stands proud on the world stage: “I am immensely proud of Northern Ireland and I want to do my very best for our people. As First Minister, making our country better for all is not just my duty, it is my privilege.

“True leadership is about service not power and I am particularly proud of the role I played as Economy Minister.

“We have brought more jobs to Northern Ireland than at any time in our history and we have secured the power to set our own rate of Corporation Tax at 12.5% from April 2018. When others would have walked away from corporation tax because it was too big or too complex we stayed the course because the prize is too great.

“We are well renowned across the world for the warm welcome we give to those from abroad. International companies continue to choose Northern Ireland as a venue to grow their business. Those who come to our shores now consider Northern Ireland as home and that fills me with immense pride.

“I am just at the start of my leadership role in this position and will no doubt continue to learn many lessons as I go but I am fully committed to doing all I can to create a better more prosperous Northern Ireland for future generations.

“I believe that together we can achieve a Northern Ireland we can all be proud of.”

Today’s event was sponsored by Electric Ireland.

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