First Minister, Peter Robinson, answered Members’ questions on behalf of his Department during today’s question time. Mervyn Storey asked Mr Robinson about the impact of recent overseas investment visits. The First Minister said that we are “committed to bringing investment, jobs, tourists, new skills and best practice into Northern Ireland by promoting local skills and developing mutually beneficial relationships with targeted countries, regions and international organisations”. This requires long-term relationship building and raising awareness of what Northern Ireland has to offer. The First Minister assured the House that they will remain proactive in efforts to secure trade and investment opportunities. The fruits of the International Relations Strategy have been evidenced by the G8 summit, MTV Europe Music Awards, Irish Open, World Police and Fire Games and the recent Giro d’Italia. As an Executive, the First Minister acknowledges that we must build on this success and is confident that we have demonstrated Northern Ireland’s capability of hosting world-class events.
The First Minister also answered questions on the Peace Building and Conflict Resolution Centre, proposals for stakeholder engagement with the children and young people's sector under Delivering Social Change and the latest developments on the £12m allocated for childcare for 2011-2015.
During the period of topical questions the Chamber discussed the recent racist attacks in Belfast, the comprehensive spending review and the tourism potential of the Antrim Coast Road highlighted during the Giro d’Italia.