If there are concerns about the budget there is no disguising the general ‘feelgood factor’ - over and above Christmas good will - at the succession of Arlene Foster to the role of First Minster.
Having won virtually universal approval as Enterprise Minister, Mrs Foster’s elevation to the top of the Executive is seen across the business community as a positive move for the whole of the province.
“Arlene excelled in her role as DETI Minister and fully understands the importance of a thriving economy to Northern Ireland’s general wellbeing,” said Linda Brown, director, IoD NI.
“She appreciates the value of investing in the development of business leaders and I trust she will continue to place the economy at the forefront of the political agenda.”
Ann McGregor, CEO at the Northern Ireland Chamber of Commerce and Industry added: “Northern Ireland needs to grow the private sector and to do that we need business friendly policies. Minister Foster is well briefed on the economy through her service in DOE, DETI and DFP and we therefore welcome her appointment.”
At the CBI, Northern Ireland director Nigel Smyth said:
“Arlene Foster is highly regarded in the business community.
“Through her extensive engagement with businesses, she has a strong understanding of the range of factors underpinning the competitiveness of the economy, and the actions needed to secure future growth.
“Her vision and strategic thinking, together with her considerable experience in government will help create confidence within the business community that the NI Executive can focus on delivering a period of stable and effective governance for the benefit of everyone.”