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Cross-border Joint Business Council Annual Conference

Posted On: 13 Jun 2024



We attended the Ibec-CBI Northern Ireland Joint Business Council Annual Conference in Dundalk today to discuss new opportunities to maximise economic benefits from cross-border cooperation and consider shared policy concerns including the All-Island labour market.

Delegates heard that there is a need to address obstacles to cross-border working to take full advantage of the All-Island labour market.

Angela McGowan, Director of CBI Northern Ireland, said: “We are delighted to again support this joint annual conference, which comes at a pivotal time for the All-Island economy following the restoration of the Northern Ireland Executive and Stormont Assembly.

“Significant shifts in geopolitics, supply chains, energy sources and labour markets, make it even more important for business and policy makers to collaborate on the best way forward for the All-Island economy. With good co-operation in a range of areas combined with high levels of ambition, we can maximise the economic benefits and build long term resilience for both economies.

“The business community want to see good collaboration both North-South and East-West. Firms are hungry to reap all the potential advantages that a well-developed All-Island economy can deliver. These advantages include: a bigger market for sales and supply chains, a greater labour market pool, improved connectivity for trade, tourists and workers as well as access to a secure supply of cheaper green energy. By working together, we are much more likely to deliver that economic prize.”

Danny McCoy, CEO of Ibec, said: “There is a lot of political change happening both on the islands of Ireland and Britain this year, and it is important we push forward with an All-Island economic agenda that can deliver real opportunities on both sides of the Irish border. With restored political stability in Northern Ireland and a functioning North-South Ministerial Council (NSMC), businesses across the island of Ireland are looking to policies that can maximise economic benefits from cross-border cooperation.

“Ibec, along with our partners at CBI Northern Ireland, believes that constructive conversations and concrete actions are key to securing and propelling prosperity. Collaboration across key areas such as infrastructure, the labour market and energy will underpin this effort, as will the new macroeconomic model for the All-Island economy, which will inform future opportunities.”