The Dublin-Belfast Economic Corridor initiative has the potential to improve the lives of citizens on both sides of the border economically and socially in the spirit of solidarity and cooperation, a Fine Gael TD has said.
Louth Deputy Fergus O’Dowd was speaking as eight local authorities came together online to launch an initiative to promote investment and development along the east coast region.
Deputy O’Dowd, Chairperson of the Joint Committee on the Implementation of the Good Friday Agreement, said, “There is much to gain by authorities North and South of the border working together to drive economic growth which can make a real difference to local businesses and communities.
“The report published today, The Dublin-Belfast Economic Corridor: Current Profile, Potential for Recovery & Opportunities for Cooperation, states that now is the perfect time to create a north-south Economic Corridor given the challenges posed by Brexit and the Covid-19 pandemic.
“The report identifies the potential the region has, including its highly educated workforce and 125,000 firms with more people employed in mid-sized and large businesses than anywhere else.
“In my own constituency, Drogheda and Dundalk are perfectly positioned to Drive Foreign Direct Investment along the economic corridor, they are the two largest towns in Ireland and both were designated in the 2040 National Development Plan.
“Drogheda and Dundalk have also been earmarked in the most recent IDA Strategy, “Driving Recovery and Sustainable Growth 2021 – 2024” for Advanced Building Solutions which will be marketed to clients across the Financial Services, Technology, Global Services and Life Sciences sectors.
“We are in a perfect position along the corridor with excellent road and rail networks and our close proximity to both Dublin and Belfast airports, we also have a very strong Third Level landscape.
“This announcement has been further boosted by the news this morning that An Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Leo Varadkar T.D, has announced funding of €338,000 to establish a new Enterprise Ireland Technology Gateway for the North-East in the Dundalk Institute of Technology (DkIT).
“I look forward to working closely with the local chambers of commerce and stakeholders on the strategy to drive forward further investment and deliver more opportunities in the region,” Deputy O’Dowd concluded.