[Sinn Fein]

26 March 2001

Doherty meets ETI Minister

Sinn Fein Vice President, West Tyrone MLA Pat Doherty, Chairperson of the Enterprise, Trade & Investment Committee met with the ETI Minister Reg Empey today.

Following the meeting Mr Doherty said:

``I raised a number of issues with the Enterprise, Trade and Investment Minister Reg Empey, including the creation of a new agency to replace the IDB, LEDU and IRTU, energy and support for the tourism industry.

``The creation of a new agency to replace the IDB, LEDU and IRTU is crucially important if we are to ensure sustainable inward investment. What is most important is that any new agency actively attempts to address the serious structural imbalance in inward investment that exists West of the Bann.

``We also discussed the broad issues around energy production. Reg Empey along with his southern counterpart has already initiated research into the development of an all Ireland energy market and given that the ETI committee is to begin it s inquiry into energy on Wednesday there was a useful discussion on progress in this area.

``I also raised concerns that not enough was being done to assist the tourism industry that is facing severe pressures as a result of Foot and Mouth.''

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