Larne firms urged to share views with minister

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Larne businesses are being invited to share their views on the economy with Enterprise Minister Arlene Foster, as part of a new initiative.

The ‘Minister on the Move’ scheme, a partnership between the NI Chamber of Commerce and Industry and British Airways, gives businesses the chance to speak directly with NI Assembly members at a number of locations across the province.

One such event will be held at Caterpillar NI’s Larne site next week and will involve an address from Mrs Foster, followed by an open forum for delegates to share their views with the minister, and to find out what the Northern Ireland Executive can do to help grow the private sector.

Guests will also hear the success story of Caterpillar NI and participate in a guided tour of the company’s facilities.

Robert Kennedy, operations director for Caterpillar NI, said: “As a patron of the NI Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Caterpillar NI is very pleased to host this event, and to welcome the Minister to our Larne facility.

“Minister Foster has worked closely with us over the years to support our investments in the skills and capabilities of our people, as well as our local facilities, as we continue to develop our Northern Ireland sites as a centre of excellence within the Caterpillar group.

“This has enabled us to bring significant new opportunities to our facilities, including the manufacturing of wheeled material handlers and the assembly of axles for articulated trucks.

“These have added to our core business, the manufacture of generator set products.

“I very much look forward to talking to NI Chamber members about Caterpillar, how we have been able to diversify our business, and the central role innovation will play as we continue to develop our local operations.”

Ann McGregor MBE, CEO of NI Chamber, described the initiatve as being “important and mutually beneficial” for both business and government.

She added: “ It will create a forum for the open exchange of views leading to a better understanding of the importance of public policy and the economic environment in which we operate.

“We all have the shared aim of growing the Northern Ireland economy and an initiative such as this one allows us to keep in regular contact along the way.”

The Larne event will take place from 10.30am-1pm on Thursday, April 16.

For further information and to register for upcoming events, visit www.northernirelandchamber.com