All-Island focus key to boosting economic prosperity for NI

26 June 2024

All-Island focus key to boosting economic prosperity for NI

Trade NI has said that greater economic cooperation across the island of Ireland is key to prosperity in Northern Ireland.

Collaboration, investment in shared infrastructure, and joint economic initiatives, have already proved that a more integrated approach is not only good for inter-island trade and commerce but strengthens the island of Ireland proposition internationally. 

The three major trade bodies that make up the Trade NI alliance took that message to an audience of business leaders and investors assembled at Iveagh House, hosted by the Tánaiste Micheál Martin yesterday in Dublin.

The event with the Tánaiste builds on a series of significant events in Westminster in May and a week-long mission to Washington DC in March earlier this year.

Commenting on the report, Tánaiste, Minister for Foreign Affairs and Minister for Defence Micheál Martin TD said: 

“This report is an important contribution to understanding the potential of the Northern Ireland economy, and the impressive progress since the Good Friday Agreement.”

“This success is itself testament to the adaptability and resilience of the business community, which has overcome numerous obstacles to shape Northern Ireland into the attractive destination it is today as a destination for business and investment.”

“I welcome the spotlight on the important and growing trade across the island. North South cooperation can catalyse business opportunities and play an important role in building a more connected, sustainable and prosperous island.”

Speaking at the event, Junior Minister Aisling Reilly said:

“Today’s event highlights the importance of our economic links with the rest of this island and beyond.

“As an Executive, we are committed to growing our economy, improving our public services and making our society a more equal and prosperous place for everyone.

“In order to achieve that goal we know that growing all-island trade will be critical to economic growth and sustainability. And we recognise the importance of collaboration, working together to build strong economic ties and taking advantage of our unique trading position with access to markets in Britain and the EU.”

Speaking jointly, the leadership of Trade NI, Stephen Kelly, Manufacturing NI, Glyn Roberts, Retail NI and Colin Neill, Hospitality Ulster said:

“We only have to look at recent cross border business statistics, tourism numbers and trade to see how important all-island activity is to us in Northern Ireland and the potential it holds.”

 “There is recognition on both sides of the border on the benefits of the all-island proposition and our access to both the EU single market and the UK internal market which makes us strategically well placed.”  

 “The Irish Government has played a significant role in supporting the northern economy, most recently through investing in key physical and economic infrastructure such as the A5, Narrow Water Bridge and the new teaching block planned for Ulster University in Derry through its Shared Island funding. Its work in helping restore the NI Executive means that we can now place our collective energy and efforts in securing investment, capitalising on the all-island economy and reminding people that we are one of the most economically exciting places in the world to start and develop a business.”

“It is important also that we take this opportunity to express our gratitude to the Irish Government and the Tánaiste and look to the future work we can do together.” 


Julie Galbraith, Executive Partner, DWF Law, said:

“The event with the Tánaiste this evening marks our ongoing support for the Trade NI alliance after backing its latest engagements at Westminster and the Irish Embassy in London.”

 “This is an important time to engage with the Irish Government as investment and economic prosperity remains a key focus for us all in Northern Ireland, particularly since the return of the NI Executive earlier this year.”

 “We welcome the work that the Tánaiste and his colleagues in government have committed to already, and encourage future investment and collaboration across all sectors to ensure that our part of the island of island remains competitive and open to greater opportunity.”


Professor Cathy Gormley-Heenan, Provost, Ulster University, said:

“Ulster University is pleased to support Trade NI as it continues to press its message in several major cities in the US, GB and the island of Ireland. It is doing excellent work in championing local businesses in Northern Ireland and understands the potential of the all-island economy for the future prosperity of our region.”

 “This is an important event with the Tánaiste whom we have welcomed on a number of occasions to the University – it is vital that we continue to build on that solid relationship and aim for further collaboration.”

 James Eyre, Chief Executive, Titanic Quarter, said:

 “This Trade NI event in Dublin, engaging with the Tánaiste and his colleagues, continues to build key working relationships contributing to positive outcomes for Northern Ireland and the all-island economy. Titanic Quarter continues to work with all stakeholders delivering economic and social growth for the future for everyone.”