In a historic move, Retail Excellence Ireland (REI) and the Northern Ireland Independent Retail Trade Association (NIIRTA) have made a joint presentation on the economy to a North-South Ministerial Council sectoral meeting on the Economy.
Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Investment Jonathan Bell MLA and Irish Enterprise Minister Richard Bruton TD held a meeting with NIIRTA Chief Executive Glyn Roberts and REI Chief Executive David Fitzsimons in Armagh last week to discuss a joint report on the growing retail industry.
In a joint statement, Roberts and Fitzsimons said; “Our joint research indicates that there is a major prize for the retail industry on the island of Ireland if we can ensure that the broad choice of retail options is correctly profiled to incoming international visitors.
"Both our organisations are working in partnership to ensure that policies are put in place to support what is the Island’s largest industry by employment. From a Northern Ireland (NI) perspective, more can be done to attract Republic of Ireland-only tourists to NI. A vibrant retail industry with thriving town centres can play a key role in doing this."
Key recommendations for this report include:
1. The establishment of a North-South Retail Forum to bring together key retail business groups and relevant Ministers to ensure effective communication and policy changes.
2. Promoting Cross-Border Weekend Shopping Breaks for Dublin, Belfast and other shopping destinations on the island.
3. Including the promotion of town centres and Retail as a core part of the Tourism Strategy of both Tourism NI and Fáilte Ireland.
4. Putting in place a strong Town Centre First Retail Planning Policy.
5. Launching a campaign across Ireland to non-EU Shoppers regarding VAT back entitlements.
6. Further promoting the new British-Irish visa arrangements to attract visitors from outside the EU.
Pictured are Minister Carál Ní Chuilín, Minister Richard Bruton, Glyn Roberts (NIIRTA), David Fitzsimons (REI) and Minister John Bell.
© 2015 - Checkout Magazine by Niall Swan