Policy Forum for Northern Ireland

Economic development in Northern Ireland: key challenges and future opportunities post-Brexit

Tuesday, 25th April 2017



Please note the date of this seminar has changed.

This timely seminar examines challenges and opportunities for Northern Ireland at a time of particular economic uncertainty, including options for the Executive in the policy response to Brexit and in pursuit of economic development and issues around the devolution of Corporation Tax, and its potential to make the Northern Ireland economy more competitive and attractive to inward investors.

It follows the Minister for the Economy’s announcement that he is to develop a new International Trade Plan and Air Route Task Force, and takes place as the House of Lords EU Committee’s conducts an inquiry on UK-Ireland relations post-Brexit.

The conference is bringing together key policymakers with stakeholders in business and finance, including representatives from manufacturing, agri-food, hospitality, tourism and retail sectors, as well as from further and higher education, academics and commentators, and others with an interest in the important issues being discussed.

They will also evaluate the latest thinking on infrastructure development, and the impact of the EU referendum on infrastructure investment.

Further sessions will consider Executive priorities for the economy stemming from the recently published Draft Programme for Government Framework, and the suitability of the proposed indicator-led objectives for delivering strong and sustainable economic growth in Northern Ireland - particularly in relation to stimulating innovation; supporting higher quality learning and skills provision, including the development of apprenticeships and further education; growing the size of the business base; and attracting inward investment.

Guest of Honour

Professor Neil Gibson

Director, Ulster University Economic Policy Centre

Guest of Honour

Professor Neil Gibson

Director, Ulster University Economic Policy Centre


Mervyn Storey MLA

Member, Committee for the Economy, Northern Ireland Assembly


Gerard Campbell

Chief Executive, Colleges Northern Ireland

Stephen Kelly

Chief Executive Officer, Manufacturing NI

John Healy

Managing Director, Allstate Northern Ireland

Wilfred Mitchell

Policy Chair, FSB Northern Ireland

Derek McCallan

Chief Executive, Northern Ireland Local Government Association

Dr Esmond Birnie

Senior Economist, Economic Policy Centre, Ulster University and former Chief Economist (Northern Ireland and Scotland), PwC

Martin Spollen

Chief Investment Officer, Strategic Investment Board

Professor David Phinnemore

Professor of European Politics, Dean of Education, Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences, Queen’s University Belfast