Nesbitt calls for new Intertrade UK body to boost NI Economy

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Nesbitt calls for new Intertrade UK body to boost NI Economy

Ulster Unionist Economy spokesperson, Mike Nesbitt MLA, is calling on the UK Government to set up a new UK Internal Market trade body to mirror the work of Inter Trade Ireland. His call comes following recent research published by the Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency (NISRA) which illustrates the stark gap between what Northern Ireland imports from Great Britain versus what Northern Ireland exports to other parts of the UK.

Mike Nesbitt said: “NISRA have detected that 68% of local companies do not trade outside of Northern Ireland. This contributes to the £1.7 Billion annual deficit in trade between Northern Ireland and Great Britain. This reeks of potential. What is needed to exploit that potential is a bespoke new organisation, with the authority of the UK Government, to identify opportunities, not just for Northern Ireland but also Scotland and Wales.

“This is not a criticism of Invest NI, rather an acknowledgement that it is not best placed to accept such an important additional responsibility, given their limited capacity and broad responsibilities. Inter Trade Ireland has achieved much to develop north south trade since it was created by the 1998 Agreement and I see huge potential for a similar body dedicated to maximising opportunities within the UK’s Internal Market.

“The Ulster Unionist Party has already had discussions with the Northern Ireland Office about this concept and we will continue to push to see this adopted as a major economic initiative in 2024.”