Chief Minister Allan Bell MHK led a delegation to Dublin this week for a series of meetings with senior figures responsible for growing Ireland’s economy.
The visit follows the Chief Minister’s announcement in July of the proposed new £50 million Enterprise Development Fund (EDF). The fund is the centrepiece of ‘Enterprise Isle’ package of initiatives designed to boost the economy, increase inward investment and grow the working population.
Explaining the visit, the Chief Minister said:
‘As we look towards detailed implementation of the EDF and the Enterprise Isle package we must ensure that we do the job properly. In addition to local consultation, this means learning from others outside the Island, and Ireland is an outstanding example of a small country that has rebuilt its economy using a range of initiatives.’
Mr Bell added:
‘In engaging with our neighbours to the west, we have been able to draw on the relationships we have built with the Irish Government through the British-Irish Council, including contacts with the Taoiseach. This enabled us to arrange a series of high-level meetings to explore the Irish Government’s work to grow its economy and to see what lessons we can take from their experience.’
Along with Minister for Economic Development Laurence Skelly MHK, the Chief Minister met representatives from Enterprise Ireland, the National Economic and Social Council, the Department of Finance and the National Treasury Management Agency.
Mr Bell concluded:
‘Our talks were very productive and gave us fresh insights into the opportunities and challenges of driving economic growth. The important thing now is to make sure that our own scheme delivers for the economy and people of the Isle of Man.’