Representatives from around 40 businesses and three local schools attended MP David Simpson’s annual business breakfast recently.
First Minister Arlene Foster was special guest at the event, which raised around £1,600 for Action Cancer and Meningitis Research.
The breakfast, the 11th such event hosted by Mr Simpson, was opened by ABC Lord Mayor Darryn Causby.
Both the Minister and Mr Simpson addressed the audience after which there was a question and answer session, which was opened to the floor.
Questions put to the leaders ranged from corporation tax and attracting jobs to the area to the skills gap reported by employers.
Schools represented were Portadown College, Lismore Comprehensive and Lurgan College.
Mr Simpson described the business breakfast as “another huge success”. He said, “We welcomed small, medium and large businesses, all of whom have new and exciting visions for 2016.
“We cannot underestimated the truly critical asset these companies play in our local economy, and I trust that through closer engagement we can tackle the barriers and ensure a more sustainable economy for businesses to grow and strengthen.”
He added, “Renewed global economic uncertainty highlights the need for the Executive to redouble efforts to ensure we bring jobs and investment to Northern Ireland. The agreement to devolve corporation tax payers to Northern Ireland will be a significant economic asset for Upper Bann and the rest of our province.
“Despite the critics it will be of critical value as we continue to compete in an extremely competitive global marketplace, but one in which we have already proven we can be successful.
“Combining a low corporation tax rate with our talented workforce, stable Government and eager and educated young people; we can make Northern Ireland the most attractive proposition in western Europe. Northern Ireland, and here in Upper Bann, we are open and ready to do business.”
First Minister Arlene Foster said the people of Northern Ireland deserve nothing less than global economic success.
She said, “People elected us to provide a better future for us all. I will do all that I can to change the political culture of this place.”