The Chairman of the Institute of Directors (Northern Ireland Division), Paul Terrington, told business leaders at this evening’s Annual Dinner in Belfast that rebuilding trust is the greatest challenge for Northern Ireland.
Unresolved issues from tax evasion and education reform to civil disturbances and the cost of policing protests have, Mr Terrington said, “individually and collectively combined to erode trust and confidence in the institutions of Northern Ireland and our business community.”
“I struggle to see how we can build real trust – at home and abroad – as a great place to do business and as a remarkable investment location, without tackling the issues which challenge my view that NI is welcoming, peaceful and progressive.
“Trust and confidence in a new and shared future demands hard choices about dealing with the past”, he said. “These are not issues for politicians and government alone, none of us should shirk from the challenge.”
He continued: “Trust in the Assembly to develop unswerving focus on economic regeneration and social inclusion; trust in community leaders to lead their communities towards tolerance and coexistence and trust that business will develop the confidence to invest in the future.
“If all these elements come together we can rebalance the economy, if only one falters – or fails to step up – we will find the search for economic recovery and social inclusion equally challenging.”
Mr Terrington told guests, “that the IoD is not a lobby organisation; we have no political agenda. We will continue to promote good leadership and governance to businesses as vital ingredients in driving sustained economic growth.
“Our mission is to develop and share best practice in corporate governance, transparency and building public trust.”
The IoD Annual Dinner is the highlight in the local business calendar. Sponsored by Bank of Ireland and Arthur Cox solicitors, the evening also honoured Northern Ireland’s leading local directors.
Jim Dobson OBE, Group Managing Director of Dunbia, was announced as the winner of the 2014 Institute of Directors (IoD) Lunn’s Award of Excellence.
Jim, who leads the multinational food company headquartered in Dungannon, Co Tyrone, was nominated for the Award as one of the category winners of the IoD NI Director of the Year Awards held in November, where he took the title of Large Company Director of the Year.
He was presented with the Award of Excellence perpetual trophy and a Rolex Daytona wrist watch by John Lunn, Managing Director of Lunn’s the Jewellers, Northern Ireland’s leading jeweller. He said: “Jim Dobson OBE is a very deserved winner of the IoD Lunn’s Award of Excellence.
“Over the last 35 years he has quietly built his business, Dunbia, from a butchers shop in Moygashel into an internationally competitive business. He has created employment for thousands of individuals and has fostered a culture with Dunbia that supports the local communities in which it operates. Dunbia is a great success story for businesses in Northern Ireland.”
Also highly commended was Ian Jeffers, Director of the Princes Trust.
For more information, please visit www.iodni.com or Twitter @IoDNI .