Sinn Féin welcomes all-Ireland body
BY ROBBIE MacGABHANN
The first steps towards creating an island economy were taken this week when a new all-Ireland body on Trade and Business Development was set up in Newry.
26-County Enterprise, Trade and Employment minister Mary Harney, together with Assembly Enterprise, Trade and Investment minister Reg Empey and Higher Education minister Seán Farren, met in Newry on 24 January for the first sectoral meeting of the North/South Ministerial Council.
There is widespread expectation among communities throughout Ireland of the benefits that socially inclusive and democratically planned economic policies can bring
Launching the new body, the ministers said in a joint statement that the Trade and Business Development Body would have ``an important role to play in enhancing co-operation between North and South on business development issues in the promotion of trade between the two parts of the island and in undertaking specific projects and events in relation to trade promotion... Both sides agreed that these areas held real potential for mutual benefit in economic terms for North and South.'' The new body will be asked to bring forward proposals within the next three months to the North-South ministerial council.
The deputy mayor of Sligo, Sinn Feín's Seán Mac Manus, welcomed the launch of the new all-Ireland bodyt. He said: ``This is an important first step on the road towards creating an all-island economy. There is widespread expectation among communities throughout Ireland of the benefits that socially inclusive and democratically planned economic policies can bring, particularly in border areas and economically marginalised urban communities''.
``The action plan to be drawn up by the new body must have at its core a commitment to support business and trade initiatives that will help overcome social disadvantage.''
``There is enormous potential in this new body to overcome the negative effects of partition and decades of economic planning that ignored the Northwest, West and socially neglected communities throughout Ireland.''